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Modi government gives 2 IPS officers marching orders

In a rare move, the Narendra Modi government has forced two IPS officers to go on compulsory retirement in public interest.

Invoking Rule 16(3) of All India Services (Death-cum-Retirement Benefits) Rules, 1958, the Union Home ministry prematurely retired Mayank Sheel Chohan of AGMUT cadre, 1998 batch and Raj Kumar Dewangan of Chhattisgarh cadre, 1992 batch on January 5. The action was approved by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC), headed by the Prime Minister.

A senior Home ministry official said the action, though not happening for the first time, will definitely serve as a deterrent and force bureaucrats to take their job seriously. “As far as I remember, two Maharashtra cadre IPS officers were forced to go on compulsory retirement some 15 years ago,” said the official.

The action follows the decision by the Modi government in September 2015 to review the performances of the bureaucrats—both IAS and IPS officers—and give them premature retirement if they are found incompetent.

Since then, the Home ministry has sent several circulars to the state governments to do the appraisal of their cadre and point out the black sheep.

Of the two officers, Mayank Chohan had a chequered past and was under suspension in the rank of the SP. The CBI had initiated an inquiry against him for stage-managing his abduction from West Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh in 2012.

Dewangan, an Inspector General of Police (IGP) rank officer, was facing a departmental inquiry in connection with a 1998 case of loot that took place during his tenure as superintendent of police in Janjgir-Champa district of Chhattisgarh.

The officers can appeal against the order with the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) or move the court later.

Highly placed sources said more such action can be expected in the coming days to follow to make the bureaucracy accountable.

Rule 16(3) provides for a service review for all All-India Services officers in consultation with the state government concerned at two stages: when the officer completes 15 years of qualifying service and when he/she completes 25 years of qualifying service or attains 50 years of age.