For the first time in the history of Tamil Nadu, the state’s chief secretary and home secretary have been summoned to Delhi by the Union Public Services Commission (UPSC). Chief secretary Girija Vaidyanathan has already for Delhi on Thursday for a high-level meeting at 3pm to discuss who would be the next director general of police in Tamil Nadu.
The Tamil Nadu government appears to be in trouble for recommending the names of two senior IPS officers who are facing a corruption probe for the top police job. The appointment of Tamil Nadu DGP (Law and Order) used to be a routine affair following the Prakash Singh judgment in this regard which assures a fixed two year tenure.
Usually, a list of top five officers would be sent to the UPSC, at least a month before the incumbent officer’s term gets over. Three out of the five names would be shortlisted or approved by the UPSC and sent back to the state government, out of which the latter has the liberty to pick one name. But for the first time in state’s history, sending of the list of names was put on hold by the state government. The selection for the top post was delayed by the Palaniswami-led TN government till the last moment. According to sources, the list of five senior officers was sent only this week even as the the incumbent T.K. Rajendran is set to retire end of this week.
As of now, there are four senior officers of the DGP cadre in the state. If appointed as DGP, the officer can serve for a minimum of two years, even if their retirement is due immediately after assuming office.
The senior most in the list is IPS officer Archana Ramasundaram, 59, who is currently serving as the director general of Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) paramilitary force in Delhi. Belonging to the 1980 batch, Archana has put in 36 years of service and has three months left for retirement. She was one of the officers who could not find a place in the list of Jayalalithaa’s favourite officers and was apparently pushed to go on central deputation.
Next in seniority is K. Radhakrishan, who is now serving as DGP (Civil Supplies and CID). A 1983 batch officer, Radhakrishnan too is expecting to get the top post.
The third is former Chennai city police commissioner S. George, who was in the good books of former chief minister Jayalalithaa. George is in deep trouble after the media expose on his hand-in-glove operations with the illegal Gutka traders in the state capital. A 1984 batch officer, George too is expecting to get the top job.
The fourth in the list is K.P. Mahendran, who is now the DGP (Vigilance). The 1984 batch officer has only 18 months of service left.
Apart from these four officers in the list, there are three more officers in the ADGP cadre who are eligible for promotion as DGP. They are: Sangaram Jangid, ADGP (Economic Offence Wing), J.K. Tripathy, ADGP (Law and Order) and C.K. Gandhirajan, ADGP (Enforcement).
What has irked the home ministry is that the IT Department, which, following a raid in an illegal Gutkha godown in Chennai, found a ledger containing entries monthly bribe running into several lakhs paid to senior cops George and T.K. Rajendran. The IT department had sent a report to Tamil Nadu government for further action. However, no probe was conducted. Not only that, the state government has now recommended the names of these two officers for the top job.
According to sources, the home ministry has called for the IT department report in this regard and is mulling to confront the TN officials who would be attending the meeting on Thursday afternoon.