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Governance

The new government has lost no time in bringing back power to the ministers / itself.  The swiftness with which the following bills were passed is astonishing to say the least.  How activists (read lawyers filing PILs) have allowed these under the radar is a mystery.

The first one was to restore police transfer powers to the govt.

June 10, 2013

The Legislative Assembly on Monday approved the Karnataka Police (Amendment) Bill, 2013, which seeks to restore the power of transferring and promoting senior police officers back to the State government.

Besides, the bill seeks to re-constitute the Police Establishment Board (PEB). This will provide choice to the government to pick any officer of the ADGP rank as Board members.

The bill, which was piloted by Home Minister K J George, also seeks to completely withdraw the Board's powers to make recommendations to the government in posting and transfering officers above the rank of Additional Superintendent of Police. Besides, the government can modify any decision of the Board after citing a valid reason.

 The BJP and the JD(S) opposed the bill saying that it will lead to political interference in transfer and posting of police officers. Former Home Minister R Ashoka (BJP) said the proposed amendment was in violation of the Supreme Court direction on bringing in reforms in the police department by ending political interference.

“The morale of the honest personnel will sink,” he said. “And why shouldn’t it? The government can now execute transfer orders according to its whims and fancies”

George, however, defended the bill saying it will enable the government to post honest officers. “The government is accountable to people and the House. The Board is not. How can the government have control over the system if all transfers are done by the Board?,” he asked.

The bill is yet to be passed in the Legislative Council.

And, pray tell us how is the govt. "accountable" to people and the House?

And, it passed remarkably quickly in the legislative council.  Our elected representatives have their "priorities" right.

June 11, 2013

The Council, on Tuesday, was witness to a heated debate over the Karnataka Police (Amendment) Bill, 2013, when it came up for consideration in the House.

The previous government had suggested a similiar amendment to the Karnataka Police Act, 1963, only to withdraw the proposal after better sense prevailed. “The bill is contradicting the Supreme Court ruling of September 2006, which asks the PEB to have total control over the transfer of officers,” Nanaiah pointed out.

The Bill seeks to empower the government to transfer officers of and above the rank of additional superintendent within a year of a case of misconduct, negligence or an act of moral turpitude — in the opinion of the government — being registered against the officer.

“The morale of the honest personnel will sink,” he said.

“We are faced with situations where senior police officers get court stay orders in key postings,” he said. “One example of this was the controversy surrounding the appointment of the chief of the Anti-Naxal Force (ANF). This hampers the government functioning in such situations and is thus required for us to hold the power to transfer personnel.”

Unsatisfied with this response, BJP legislators staged a walkout, and later the bill was passed.

So, walkout was a washout or an eyewash for public's consumption?

Another remarkable "power" restoration on Panchayat Raj amendmentsAnother link here

The Gram Panchayat Hakkotaya Andolana has demanded that the Karnataka Panchayat Raj (Amendment) Bill, 2013 be revoked. 

The bill grants regional commissioners the authority to remove the president and members of gram panchayat if they do not convene a meeting of gram sabhas and ward sabhas once in six months. A sub-clause in the bill has also provided for disciplinary action to be taken against Panchayat Development Officers if they fail to assist in the ward sabha meetings.

Addressing media persons on Friday, Ravi said the amendment bill will not serve any purpose especially when the gram panchayats are not given financial autonomy and are not sanctioned the posts of engineers and accountants. When no action is taken against those MLAs who do not attend the Assembly sessions and also do not visit their constituencies for a long time, then why make poor and illiterate gram panchayat presidents and members scapegoats for not convening meetings.

“Despite the opposition from the opposition parties, the Assembly has passed the bill. But, the BJP will raise objections when the bill is tabled in the Council,” he said.

Like it happened before, "objections" will be raised...

It will be interesting to see what the governor, who is a "crusader" of law (as shown aptly with? to? the previous administration) does with the bills.  Are the bills "constitutional"?

Comments

n's picture

Blatant cronyism, nepotism is

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Blatant cronyism, nepotism is what this allows.  Junior police officers will cock a snook at senior officials as long as they have the patronage of a minister.  Politicians once again become our absolute masters.  Boot licking is here to stay.  How dare we the people dream of not having a raj or having democracy in its true spirit?

Time to rollback sakala.  And, dwell on other, "important" issues like non-existent work orders, ways to make more money etc... Forget about non-issues like commuter rail, infrastructure requisite for a city in today's age, people's convenience et al. /end of sarcasm


murali772's picture

no netagiri???

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I too had been intrigued by the goings on.

And, while a report in today's ToI has the caption "no netagiri anymore" (check here), the text reads something totally different, the highlight being the following line:

After the Congress government took over, transfers of IAS and IPS officers continued, with around five such orders being issued on an average every week. In administrative and police circles, the chief minister's ways are being compared with that of Yeddyurappa, who kept bureaucrats on tenterhooks with the musical-chair policy.

All in all, not quite clear what the government is upto.

Muralidhar Rao

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