Amid the political crisis in Punjab Congress, the state party head Navjot Singh Sidhu has demanded the removal of certain officials including Punjab DGP IPS Iqbal Preet Singh Sahota and Advocate General APS Deol. For the post of DGP, Sidhu and his confidants are pushing the name of 1986 batch IPS officer Siddharth Chattopadhyaya.

 

 

Meanwhile, a panel of 10 officers including S Chattopadhyaya has been sent to Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) for the appointment of a regular director general of police (DGP). Now, the commission will return a panel of three names, of which the state has to select its new police chief.

 

 

The hot-favourite of Sidhu, Chattopadhayaya is set to retire on March 31 next year. Notably, he is the senior of incumbent DGP Dinkar Gupta and had also been in the race earlier. However, he was shunned out by the UPSC, and IPS Gupta was appointed as DGP to which Chattopadhyaya opposed aggressively.

 

 

Chattopadhyaya had challenged the UPSC’s recommendation of three junior officers for the post of state DGP completely ignoring his candidacy, in the apex court and the case is still underway.


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Stating that the allegations of bias in the selection process “due to the presence of former DGP Suresh Arora in the empanelment committee”, Chattopadhyaya claimed that he has been targeted because he was probing the role of Dinkar Gupta, along with Arora, in a drug case in 2018. However, the Punjab Government dismissed the allegations.

 

 

Chattopadhyaya also accused Dinkar Gupta of holding a Benami property, however, these claims were also shunned by the administration, accusing him of misleading the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT).

 

 

Last year, the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) asserted that the Director-General of Police Siddharth Chattopadhyaya was disqualified as there was some problem with his assessment sheets and also due to his "litigation tactics."

 

 

The claims and attack were made concerning “assessment sheets” that were allegedly withheld from the Central Administrative Tribunal while it was hearing petitions against the nomination of senior IPS officer Dinkar Gupta as the police chief.

 

 

DGP Siddharth Chattopadhyaya had previously stated that the assessment sheets were concocted and fabricated. However, the case, it was explained to the Bench, hinged on the fact that the assessment sheets were absent.



Notably, the administration had also slammed Chattopadhyaya's claim that he was virtually responsible for the elimination of terrorism in Punjab, saying it was not only inaccurate but also highly irresponsible.

 

 

“The idea that any one officer is primarily or completely responsible for preventing terrorism is not only incorrect but also very misleading and irresponsible, as well as unfit for a senior IPS official,” the state stated.



Now, the big question stands on UPSC’s earlier decisions if Chattopadhayaya is included in the panel of three officers best for DGP’s post.

 

 

Meanwhile, Navjot Sidhu has been continuously opposing the appointment of DGP Sahota. He claimed that IPS Sahota has given a clean chit to the Badals and Baba Ram Rahim of Dera Sacha Sauda in the sacrilege charges when he was in charge of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) set up by the Badal-led-SAD government in 2015.


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It appears Sidhu might get DGP Sahota sacked, however, there are slight chances of his favourite being appointed to the top post.

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