GUWAHATI: In the aftermath of the SI (Sub Inspector) recruitment scam in the State, there has been a hue and cry over retired police officer PK Dutta's property which is hugely disproportionate to his known sources of income. The grim reality is that the State has many more police officers whose assets are disproportionate to their sources of income. However, they are yet to come under the radar.
According to service rules, all police officers — right from DSP-level — have to submit their annual property returns (both movable and immovable ones) to their appointing authority by January 31. The moot question here is: Are the submitted asset reports of police officers verified regularly on the ground?
Had there been regular verification, many things regarding the ill-gotten money would have come to light.
It's certain that PK Dutta hasn't amassed the huge assets overnight. The annual property returns of all top police officers should be uploaded in the department's website.
Official sources said that while ACS (Assam Civil Service) officers submit their annual property returns regularly, the APS (Assam Police Service) cadres allegedly don't do so regularly. Police officers who don't submit their annual property returns regularly generally don't get vigilance clearance for promotion, deputation etc.
However, the sad state of affairs is that many of such officers 'manage' to get such clearances.
Sources also doubt if the annual property returns submitted by the police officers are verified at the ground level. Such a doubt holds water as many officers manipulate certain facts in their annual property returns. It's high time that the annual property returns of police officers were verified with the ground reality.
According to sources, there was a move to verify the assets of a section of police officers under the scanner, but the move has been abandoned for some reasons not known to us. This is an open secret that most of the police officers own property disproportionate to their known sources of income. However, there has been no investigation against many such officers.
Working at the 'same places' for years is yet another 'unholy practice' which a section of police officers is accustomed to. How is it possible, and why? Why should an officer always manage to get posted to his chosen place and post for years?
Throwing some light on this vexed issue, a retired police officer said that there should be a mechanism to verify the annual property returns of police officers. "Raising a hue and cry after the damage is done doesn't really help us. Preventive measures hold the key. It's certain that there are many police officers whose assets are disproportionate to their sources of income. However, they haven't come under the radar," the retired police officer rued.