GUWAHATI: DPs (Departmental Proceedings) drawn against police officials following recommendations from the State Police Accountability Commission, Assam go on for donkey's years (a very long time), so do the DPs against civilian officials in the State. Does it augur well for the public who the government is supposed to serve?
Following recommendations from the State Police Accountability Commission, hundreds of DPs have been going on for years and on without meeting their logical ends in various offices of the Superintendents of Police; the Police Commissionerate, Guwahati; Assam Police Headquarters; various Assam Police battalion headquarters in the State. One of the reasons behind such DPs getting almost 'timeless eternity' is that the Commission is not informed of the status of DPs regularly. Such inordinate delays in DPs against police officials in the State let the erring ones go scot free, besides harassing some innocent police personnel.
According to official sources, the number of pending DPs against police personnel in the State till December 2019 was 470 – as many as 92 in the Police Commissionerate, Guwahati; 49 in the Assam Police Headquarters; 21 in Jorhat SP office; 35 in Cachar SP office; 19 cases each in Hojai and Kokrajhar SP offices; 17 in Fourth APBn, besides many others. And some of these DPs have been pending since 2011.
This is the reason why the Commission has been repeatedly banking on the State government to ensure that it (the Commission) should be kept updated frequently on the status of each and every DP. If this is not done, the very purpose of the formation of the Accountability Commission won't be served.
The Commission said in its report, "The responsibility of transformation of the police force into an efficient, effective, responsible and accountable entity lies equally with the Commission, the State government and the Police department. It is, therefore, recommended that the State government or the DGP (Director General of Police) as the disciplinary authority shall see that proper/proportionate penalty is awarded on the delinquent police personnel found guilty at the end of the DPs so as to bring about the desired accountability in the police force in the State."
The abysmal delay in DPs is also very common in the civil administration in the State as well. This is despite the fact that the DPs are time-bound entities. If such DPs — both in police and civil administrations — aren't strictly made time-bound, all efforts made to ensure accountability at the cost of the State exchequer will continue to be a farce.