New Delhi: The three IPS officers from West Bengal, who were summoned by the Centre, as well as the state government could soon receive show cause notices from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) for not coming on deputation despite orders.
According to sources in the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), the Centre has been considering what action can be taken. It is possible that the three officers from the police service and the West Bengal government will have to explain why the officers were not relieved for deputation despite the Centre’s orders.
The MHA Saturday summoned three officers from West Bengal — who were in-charge of BJP national president J.P. Nadda’s security when his convoy was attacked last week — for central deputation. A day later, the Mamata Banerjee government said it “cannot spare” them.
In its response, the Centre is expected to emphasise that the MHA is the cadre-controlling authority of all Indian Police Service officers and, to that extent, is the final decision-making authority with regard to issues of postings and deputation.
“Even the state governments’ decisions to extend the tenure of officers beyond retirement has to be run through the Centre. In that sense, the Centre is the final decision-making body, so notices could be issued,” a senior government official said.
When reached for a comment, the MHA spokesperson Nitin Wakankar told ThePrint, “As per my information, nothing has been sent so far.”
The DoPT spokesperson did not respond to calls and message requests for a comment by ThePrint till the time of publishing this report.
No rules on what happens if state refuses Centre
While the government can send notices to the state government and the IPS officers, experts say there is little to do if the West Bengal government refuses to budge.
“The rules say that the Centre has the final say, but it doesn’t specify what happens if the state still refuses to relieve a certain officer,” former DoPT secretary Satyanand Misra said.
According to the All India Service (AIS) Rules, the Centre cannot take any disciplinary action against IAS, IPS or IFS officers posted in their state cadres.
Last year, when the Centre was infuriated by five senior IPS officers participating in a sit-in dharna with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, it had to write to the state chief secretary to take action against them.
This was because neither the Centre nor the state can take unilateral action against officers. Like the Centre can only request the state government to take action against the officers, the state government too has to obtain consent of the Union Public Service Commission and the central government before any penalties are imposed by it.