KPS cadre review row: SSP Javed Koul resigns, several other KPS officers likely to give-up services
JAMMU, May 15: Amidst spiralling condition in Kashmir Valley, a senior KPS officer who was recently SSP (SS) CID Javed Koul has resigned from the prestigious police service of Jammu and Kashmir.
Koul submitted his resignation to the office of Director General Police (DGP) S.P. Vaid and Home Secretary R.K.Goel On Friday. They added that Koul has pleaded that he be relieved at the earliest since his career has remained stuck for the last more than 10 years due to delay in cadre review of KPS. As per norms, it would take few more days before Javed Koul’s resignation is accepted and he is relieved of the services.
Javed Koul is 1999 batch KPS officer who was promoted as SSP on July 8, 2014 i.e after having put-in 15 years of service in the police services. He has served on various important positions in the state but like many other KPS officers was repeatedly requesting the state government to look into their grievances and redress them at the earliest. The government constituted a committee which is still looking into the cadre review issue of the KPS officers but has not taken any decision.
Koul decided not to wait any more and submitted his resignation, said a source. He added that Koul is likely to be followed by some other KPS officers who too are mulling the option of going for pre-mature retirement since they too see their career prospects getting marred in KPS. It needs to be mentioned here that KPS is one of the feeding services of the Kashmir Administrative Service (KAS) like Revenue, Excise and Taxation, Accounts, etc., to which candidates are selected based on merit-cum-preference in the Jammu and Kashmir Combined Competitive Services.
However, the general complaint is the KPS have never been categorised as a state cadre service, resulting in poor management of its cadre strength and professional stagnation. Home Department had envisaged bringing KPS officers on a par with KAS officers in matters of promotion and pay grades. It was proposed that like KAS officers who are promoted to the rank of Administrative Secretary without being inducted into the IAS cadre, KPS officers too would be promoted to DIG and IG ranks irrespective of their induction into the IPS cadre.
The posts of Administrative Secretary and IGP are equivalent with respect to their pay grade. KPS cadres, who are middle-rung police officers, are engaged in keeping law and order as well as fighting militancy on the ground. But such is the stagnation that several of them who are currently in the rank of Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), remain in the pay grade of selection grade Deputy Superintendent of Police (DySP).
Some KPS officers who retired as SSPs were, in fact, selection grade DySPs. The J&K Gazetted Police Service Rules provide for a DySP to don the rank of SSP after completing 15 years of service. KPS officers are seeking parity with their counterparts in the KAS and feeding services. They argue that they have passed the same J&K Combined Services Competitive Examination and, depending upon their preference in their application forms, were posted as DySPs in the police organisation.
Subject to vacancies, 25% of these KPS officers, after 5 years of service, are promoted to Selection Grade DySPs. After 5 years of service and depending on vacancies, Selection Grade DySPs are promoted as SPs who, after completing 5 years of service, are promoted as SSPs. The next rank is that of Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police, subject to the officer’s induction into the IPS cadre. However, these promotions are made from among direct KPS appointees and departmental promotees on a 50:50 basis.
The first batch of KAS and KPS officers was recruited in 1971-72 through the J&K Combined Services Competitive Examination held by the Jammu and Kashmir State Public Service Commission. Direct recruitment of the second and third batches happened in 1977 and 1984. No exams were held for nearly the next 15 years, and the fourth batch of direct KPS recruits came in 1999. However, facing a requirement for middle-rung officers to tackle militancy, the government promoted a large number of Inspectors as DySPs.
As large-scale promotions from 1984-99 far exceeded the 50% quota fixed for induction of departmental promotees to the KPS cadre, the 1999 batch of direct KPS appointees and the batches that followed them began to demand the correction of the seniority list. Both direct appointees and departmental promotee KPS officers went to court, resulting in the non-induction of KPS officers into the IPS cadre from 2008. In the absence of promotion of any KPS officer from the rank of SSP to DIG during all these years, nearly 50 IPS cadre posts to be filled by departmental promotees lay vacant. The problem became more acute after the Omar Abdullah government decided in June 2014 to enhance the retirement age of its employees from 58 years to 60 years.
As a result, a number of KPS officers got two more years of service, making the stagnation problem more acute among the directly appointed KPS officers, who were forced to see their batchmates in the KAS and feeding services occupy ranks much higher than theirs. Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti had moved a proposal on December 9, 2016. Following differences, state government had on December 15, 2016 constituted 6-member cabinet sub-committee headed by Minister for Industries and Commerce Chander Prakash Ganga to examine the proposal regarding review of the strength and composition of the Jammu and Kashmir Police (Gazetted) Service.
Other five members of the sub-committee include the Minister for Health and Medical Education Bali Bhagat, Minister for Forests Choudhary Lal Singh, the Minister for Finance Haseeb Drabu, the Minister for CAPD Choudhary Zulfikar Ali and the Minister for PWD Naeem Akhtar. The committee is yet to submit its report.