The name of Subodh Jaiswal, a 1985 batch IPS officer of Maharashtra cadre, proposed as the new commissioner of Delhi Police, has upset IPS officers of Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Mizoram and Union Territory (UT) cadres as it has been a norm to appoint a senior IPS of the UT cadre to the post of Delhi Police commissioner. It was only in 1999 that the union government had appointed Ajay Raj Sharma of the Uttar Pradesh cadre as commissioner. The IPS officers of UT cadre now see the rule violated again.
According to sources at the Delhi Police headquarters, before the notification of the Delhi assembly election on 8 January, the Ministry of Home Affairs had written a letter to the Election Commission on 4 January asking the body to either allow Maharashtra-cadre IPS Subodh Jaiswal to be appointed as the new commissioner of Delhi Police or extend service to the current Commissioner of Police Amulya Patnaik (1985 batch).
In the letter, the ministry had said that the name of Subodh Jaiswal was not its final decision for the said post. The name could change, the letter said. The Election Commission has not yet replied to the letter.
At present, Amulya Patnaik seems quite likely to get 45 days of service extension. It is possible to issue an order in this regard on 28 or 29 January. Patnaik’s retirement was due on 15 January, but according to the rule of retiring on the last day of the month, he has a tenure till 31 January.
The assembly election and formation of the next local government may take up to 22 February. So, the commissioner of police can get an extension of service for 45 days. That keeps Patnaik the commissioner till February. The service extension will be considered from 15 January, though. The new commissioner may take over the charge on 1 March.
Subodh Jaiswal is currently the director-general of police of Maharashtra. He was made a DG by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. While his name is doing the rounds as the next probable commissioner of Delhi Police, in no other state is an IPS of another state cadre made the head of police.
The post of Delhi Police commissioner acquired the DG rank many years ago. The Ministry of Home Affairs has the administrative authority to appoint a DG. Even the apex court cannot interfere with the decision of the ministry unless seniority in the cadre is ignored. Patnaik is a 1985 batch. Subodh Jaiswal is of the 1985 batch too. Further, he is senior to another IPS of a UT cadre, namely SN Srivastava. If the ministry makes a panel of three senior IPS officers for DG, Jaiswal would figure as the foremost name.