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Punjab Assembly passes amendment bill to set up State Security Commission

The Punjab state assembly on August 28, 2018 passed the Police (Amendment) Bill 2018 that would pave way for setting up of a State Security Commission for selection of the director general of police (DGP).

The bill seeks to amend the Punjab Police Act 2007, which was enacted on February 5, 2008. The act did not provide for selection of the DGP from the panel as prepared by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).

Key Provisions of the Amendment Bill

Under the bill’s provisions, the state government shall select the DGP from amongst the Indian Police Service (IPS) from a panel of at least three eligible officers borne on the cadre of Punjab or any state cadre.

The following are the criterion for selecting the eligible officers:

- They should be in the rank of director general or be eligible to hold this rank for appointment as the DGP.

- They should be selected on the basis of their service record and range of experience.

- The officers should have a reasonable period of remainder service left, which shall in no case be less than 12 months as on the date of appointment

As per the Bill, the appointed DGP shall have a tenure of not less than two years irrespective of his date of superannuation.

Composition of State Security Commission

The commission will be chaired by the state’s Chief Minister and will have the state’s Home Minister as its Vice-Chairperson.

In case the CM holds the Home Department then, he may nominate any other minister as a member.

The members of the commission will include the leader of the opposition in the Punjab Assembly, a retired high court judge, chief secretary, principal secretary to state government, department of home affairs and justice and state advocate general.

Significance

The development is significant as the present Director General of Police Suresh Arora is set to retire by September end.

Background

The state government had recently decided to amend the Punjab Police Act, 2007 to enable the constitution of a state police commission for appointment of the DGP, while deciding to seek a review of the Supreme Court order of July 3, 2018, directing states to appoint their DGP from a panel, which will be constituted by the UPSC based on the concerned state government's proposals.

 

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