For MP cops, no more promotions out of turn

For decades, Madhya Pradesh had been promoting policemen out of turn, a scheme aimed at motivating personnel in the dacoit-infested Chambal ravines. The state has now scrapped it, for it was causing resentment within the force, apart from being the subject of constant allegations about favouritism and corruption.

Long after the gangs had been wiped out, the scheme continued to reward policemen for encounters with criminals or for excelling in sports. Now, such performers will get rewards like cash or firearms. "There were a lot of complaints that the undeserving were promoted, causing heartburn in a force where rank is very important," DGP Nandan Dubey said, admitting the policy had degenerated.

Most beneficiaries in recent years were sub-inspectors promoted to inspector, leaving about 100 colleagues upset. The promotions invited charges of beneficiaries currying favour with IPS officers who recommend these promotions, and, occasionally, of bribery. Courts have passed strictures, especially relating to "encounters" that turned out to be fake later, and ordered demotions at times.

"It requires a team effort to eliminate criminals and dacoits but when only a chosen few get credit and promotions, the policy ends up demotivating the rest," a senior officer said, recalling instances when criminals killed in "encounters" were found to be alive.

"In the larger interest, it was best to scrap the policy because it created unhealthy competition. Those with high morale don't need this to perform," said former DGP A R Puar.

Few states have such a policy. More than a dozen recommendations were pending with headquarters but will no longer be considered.

Opinion on the policy is still divided with some officers continuing to support it, saying it was the only tool to motivate those who go beyond the call of their immediate duty to turn in a performance better than expected of them. Dubey's predecessor, S K Raut, during whose tenure more than three dozen such promotions were given, still roots for the policy to motivate a force of 85,000-plus.

"There may have been instances of injustice but they can be rectified by improving the procedure," Raut said. "You don't do away with roads because there are accidents." He said his tenure (3 years, 9 months) was one of the longest, hence so many beneficiaries. The recommendations are made by SPs for districts and DIGs and IGs for ranges; headquarters endorses them. Raut said the policy helped motivate policemen fighting terrorists and Naxals. After Chhattisgarh was carved out, few left-wing extremists remain in MP.

Sources in the police department said it was common for those left out of out-of-turn promotions to register a protest with headquarters. Describing how flawed the policy was, a senior officer who monitored it from headquarters said there were instances when those sending recommendations were totally unaware why they had sent them in the first place, or if at all they had sent them.

RTI activist Ajay Dubey said it was common in MP for policemen to be transferred, posted and promoted for political reasons. Dubey's RTI queries had caused the government an embarrassment in 2008 when it admitted that police officials were transferred and posted on request from politicians. The government said it had received 2,700 political recommendations and acted on 627 of them.

Please read our terms of use before posting comments
TERMS OF USE: The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writer's alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of The Indian Express Group or its staff. Comments are automatically posted live; however, reserves the right to take it down at any time. We also reserve the right not to publish comments that are abusive, obscene, inflammatory, derogatory or defamatory.