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Text of the IPS Association's letter to the Prime Minister

April 14, 2008 14:38 IST

Respected Sir,

With reference to the above subject a meeting of the Jharkhand chapter of the Indian Police Service Association was convened on 2nd April, 2008. The members felt hurt and humiliated by the unfair recommendations of the 6th Pay Revision Commission and were of the unanimous opinion that the matter should be brought to your kind notice with a request to take immediate action to undo the gross injustice meted out to the police. In our view, the recommendations of the VI Central Pay Commission reflect a surprising lack of appreciation of the role of the Indian Police in general and the Indian Police Service in particular.

You are fully aware that Jharkhand is at the forefront of a face-off with Left Wing Extremism- a problem that you had yourself identified as the 'single biggest' threat to national security while addressing the National Conference of Chief Minister's on Internal Security on 20th September 2007. While tackling such threats to internal security are so high on the national agenda, it is a matter of great surprise that the VIth Pay Commission in its report, has given little or no credence to internal security management as a critical National-level, State-level and local-level input of governance. It does not take more than common sense to perceive that the threats to internal security are perhaps more recurrent and damaging today than actual threats of aggression from external enemies. One can only conjecture as to why the entire report never mentions the issues of internal security while it seems to have opened its blinkers enough to appreciate the role of the armed forces in the external security of the country. Is the police, which is engaged day in & day-out in the internal security management of this country, doing a job that is not worth even a mention? Have things come to such a pass that the Indian Police Service has been reduced, from the prime managerial cadre that protects the country from within to an inconsequential All India Service? Will this be the fate of a service that is at the forefront of the fight against the diverse challenges to internal security- be it left-wing extremism, terrorism in all its manifestations, divisive forces of communalism, casteism et al?   The VIth CPC has summarily, we daresay almost with some sort of a vengeance, disregarded the role, if not the very raison d'être of the police and especially its leadership- the IPS- as a service!! The entire police community of Jharkhand (indeed the entire country, going by the reactions we are receiving from other states) feels that if these recommendations are implemented it will go down in history as the biggest injustice meted out to the police service and is bound to be perceived as systemic ungratefulness for a service that has given its blood, sweat and tears to hold this country together. If there is any doubt on this count, a list of IPS martyrs (in tandem with the thousands of policemen from the subordinate ranks) over the years may help put this in perspective:

 

List of Martyr IPS officers as on April 1st, 2008

18,914 policemen have died from 1989 to 2007 (averaging nearly a thousand per year in a sample period of less than 20 years). The following is a list of IPS officers who lost their lives while serving the nation:

G. S. Arya – 1950 - UP

L. B. Sewa - 1958 - A&M

K. Panchapagesan – 1974 - UT

A.S. Atwal - 1964 - Punjab

V. K. Mehta - 1971 - WB

A. K. Arora - 1984 - Rajasthan

A. S. Brar - 1979 - Punjab

K. R. S. Gill - 1982 - Punjab

Sital Dass - 1976 - Punjab

Vandana Malik - 1987 - M/T

Gobind Ram - 1975 - Punjab

Daulat Singh - 1976 - A&M

R. P. Verma - 1974 - Bihar

Ajit Singh - 1968 - Punjab

K.S. Vyas - 1974 - AP

G. Paradesi Naidu - 1987 - AP

Ved Prakash - 1989 - Nagaland

Raman Prakash - 1990 - Gujarat

R.N. Hopingson - 1992 - M/T

Ravi Kant Singh - 1987 - A & M

C. Umesh Chandra - 1990 - AP

Ajay Kumar Singh - 1995 - Bihar

K.C. Surendra Babu - 1997 - Bihar

A.P. Thang Thuam - 1979 - M/T

Mohammad Amin Bhat - 1990 - J&K

P. K. Lohia - 1993 - Assam

Jaswinder Singh - 1990 - Orissa

                       

Sir, allow us to ask this question: Can you identify any other civil service where its leadership cadre and along with each and every rank they lead ( and their families too) have to factor-in the ultimate sacrifice- death on duty- as an integral part of the service condition? Yet the VIth Pay Commission in its wisdom has decided to downgrade this service in a way that seems to suggest that among all the possible service contexts the job of managing internal security threats is the least important!

Given the above perspective and after duly careful consideration and analysis of the VIth CPC Report, the General Body Meeting of the IPS Association- Jharkhand Chapter notes the following with grave concern:-

A. THE INJUSTICE METED OUT TO THE POLICE CONSTABULARY AS THE MAINSTAY OF THE POLICE FORCE AND ITS CUTTING EDGE

The CPC has been eloquent in recognizing the role of constables in performing cutting edge duties and has proposed a hike in his current pay scale from Rs.3050-4590 to Rs.3200-4900. It has resulted in a meager gain of Rs.100 in grade pay and Rs.20-40 in band pay. A constable has been equated with a postman, railway mail guard and notice server and provided the same pay band and grade pay, completely ignoring the arduous nature of job and the risks involved in the job of a constable.

A police constable, under various sections of the Criminal Procedure Code and the Indian Penal Code, has the powers to stop and search person or premises; to arrest anyone under reasonable suspicion of his having committed an offence; to interrogate; to use force to disperse and even use force to refrain a person from evading arrest, even to the extent of causing death, in certain circumstances. A police constable has the power to impact upon any person's life and liberty.

Apart from the negative powers of restraining people, a constable is also required, inter alia, as part of his duty, to use immense amount of discretion, make quick and at times life saving decisions, act as a counselor, work as a judge to appreciate facts during an enquiry, be a doctor to be able to provide first aid to victims, be a scientist to be able to appreciate forensic evidence, be a lawyer to be able to weigh evidence against law, be a rescuer during disasters. He is required to be proficient in various soft skills like team building, communication and counseling, and also master the hard skills of weapon handling, swimming, firing, handling explosives, arresting offenders, sometimes dangerous, officer survival, riot handling and conducting raids. He is a judge, interrogator, psychologist, doctor, scientist, lawyer, counselor, athlete, shooter, fighter and rescuer, all rolled in one. A constable is trained in all these knowledge and skill set. What this means in effect is that these policemen at the level of interfacing with the community day in and day out have to take decisions and exercise discretion. A South African study on policing finds that among cutting edge services if one service has to exercise maximum range of discretion at the cutting edge it is the police. The individual (unsupervised) police subordinate is perpetually called upon to make decisions and impact the lives of the ordinary citizen on behalf of the government.

The odious comparison to a postman, railway mail guard etc is incomprehensible and incapable of attracting suitably strong willed and motivated youth to face the extreme professional hazards on a daily basis and to acquire necessary skills for the same. What is so irrational about according perquisites to the policemen on par with their brethren in the military services? There is not a single criterion on which the average police constable does not match or indeed score over his military counterpart- the celebrated 'army jawan'- whether it be the hours of work, the working conditions, deprivation from family life, continuous stress and probability of serious injury and death. Why deny this silent army its due- is it because it stays silent despite all injustices meted? Sir, the jawan-in-khaki is also equally worthy of your attention and largesse and this country cannot afford to leave them with a sense of unfair treatment. May we remind the country that often more jawans-in-khakhi have to sacrifice their lives in one year than the combined armed forces casualties in the one decade. It is only in times of external conflict that the probability of casualties in the armed forces shoots up. But for the khaki-clad jawan death is a possibility round the corner- every moment, every day, 24X7. No wonder, there is no let up in the numbers of police martyrs, year after year after year. Given the step-motherly treatment envisaged by the VIth Pay Commission will they not be entitled to ask- "What for and for whom are we sacrificing our lives"?  

B. 'EDGE' FOR THE IAS OVER OTHER SERVICES/IPS

1. In Chapter 3.2, Page 166, the CPC has discussed the edge for IAS. This thesis, soundly debunked by the Fourth Central Pay Commission, pervades the recommendations made by the CPC. It proposes to extend and limit this edge to the IAS in Senior Time Scale, Junior Administrative Grade and Non Functional Selection Grade. In Para 3.2.7, the Commission has rationalized this 'edge' being 'traditionally enjoyed' by the said service over other All India Services and Central Services on the ground that IAS officers:

* Hold important Field level posts

* In the initial stages, they work in small places

* Face frequent transfers

* Have to stand up to intense pulls and pressures

* Require higher pay scales to attract the best talent

2. It is apparent that the commission has not shown even elementary appreciation and understanding of the role and conditions of field officers of the IPS. A quick survey of the conditions, the frequency of transfers, the day to day pressures faced by the field formations like SPs and DIsG would have given a fair idea of the almost superhuman capabilities to sustain diverse pressures that a typical police officer is expected to have. Thus, it is important to note that the conditions that the commission speaks about for the IAS apply in a much greater degree to the IPS Officers. Besides, the IPS Officers face the following challenges unique only to their service:-

* Threat to life ( ref: Martyrs List above)

* Long and irregular working hours

* Working on holidays ( even the law enjoins that a policeman has to be on duty always)

* Disruption of family life

* Highest degree of stress

3. It is noteworthy that not only the IAS but also the Indian Foreign Service enjoys the same edge without ever having to suffer any of the conditions stated by the CPC. No rational has been given in the CPC report.

4. It is obvious that if there is a case for edge at all, the IPS should have an edge over any other service in the country. The IPS did, in fact, enjoy an edge in the 14th to 18th year of service till a very recent amendment to the IAS Pay Rules.

5. Indeed, a reading of the report suggests that the Commission contradicts its own arguments about attracting the best talent by giving the so called monetary "edge". Kindly sample the following two paragraphs from the CPC (regarding justification for edge to IAS and demand for high pay at entry level by Group A respectively) in the report that squarely contradict each other!

Para 3.2.7. The role of IAS is still very important in the overall scheme of governance. They have an important coordinating, multi-functional and integrating role in the administrative framework with wide experience of working across various levels in diverse areas in Government. They hold important field level posts at the district level and at the cutting edge at the start of their careers with critical decision making and crisis management responsibilities. The leadership function, the strategic, coordinating and integrative role at this level requires the best talent available. The existing position would, therefore, need to be maintained. It will ensure that IAS officers near the beginning of their career are given slightly higher remuneration vis-à-vis other services and act as an incentive for the brightest candidates to enter this service.

Para 3.3.16. The demand to have higher pay for the entry grade in the Organized Services has considerable merit. It is a fact that there is a need to have a higher entry grade to attract the best talent available in the country for joining the premier Civil Services. Accordingly the Commission is recommending a higher starting pay for the Junior Time Scale of Organized Group A Services and the All-India Services. However, the contention that higher pay scales are essential to attract the best talent for these posts is not totally convincing. The Government job provides many other benefits apart from challenges and opportunities which cannot be strictly measured in pure monetary terms. During the course of the oral evidence, the Commission also heard Directors of some important National Training Academies and Staff Colleges where young directly recruited and also promotee officers are trained before they actually assume their responsibilities. All the Heads of Training Academies unanimously stated that the Services were still attracting the best and brightest of the youngsters as direct recruits, albeit the age of entry had increased due to the present recruitment policy of the Government.

It would appear from a reading of the above that the Pay Commission has chosen to be 'convinced' differently for different services.

6. The apparent contradictions in the CPC report continue in the other parts. Even as it justifies a limited edge to the IAS till the selection grade only, it in fact extends this edge to a much greater extent from the fourteenth year of service onwards. The comparative chart at Annexure-I clearly establishes the edge of IAS at all stages from 4th year onwards. An extract of the chart is reproduced below for convenience.

It is obvious that contrary to its own report and argument, the edge is even more acute from the Super Time Scale of IAS and DIG rank of IPS, i.e., from 14th year onwards. It is only after completion of thirty six years of service that an IPS officer can hope to catch up with his counterpart in the IAS in terms of the total of band pay and grade pay- that too if he ends up as DG of a CPMF and not a State! This too will happen only if the IPS officer gets the ranks of IG, ADG and DG on the very first day that he becomes eligible for promotion i.e. 1st January of the 18th, 26th and 30th year of his service respectively. Delay in promotion at any stage during this phase of the career of an IPS officer would effectively eliminate any chance of reaching the highest level of the pay band. Needless to say that such an ideal situation exists neither in the Central Police Organizations nor in the States. The age of 24 years at the time of joining required to reach the Rs.80,000/- mark is also rare and it can be safely concluded that no IPS officer serving in the States will retire at salary of Rs.80,000/-. Even by conservative estimates, the total difference in pay including just the band pay and the grade pay over a career spanning 36 years would be at least Rs.21,99,480/- which, if  compounded annually @ 8%, is a whopping sum of Rs.72,21,010/-. This difference shall be in crores if the impact of other allowances like DA and HRA are taken in to account. It is also noteworthy that about 250 posts (approx. three batches) of Secretary to Govt. of India level are available for IAS officers while only about a dozen such posts (approx one-tenth of one batch) are available for IPS officers. So much for the minor edge!

C. THE CASE FOR ABOLITION OF THE REDUNDANT POST OF DIG

The CPC has recommended retention of the post of DIG on the specious argument that the post is required for deputation to CPMFs where it is a functional requirement but contradicts itself by proposing to stop completely the deputation of IPS officers to the posts of DIG in CPMFs by reserving them for their own cadres. The CPC has also proposed to reduce the percentage of deputation of IPS officers to CPMFs in IG rank from 66% to 50%, thereby reducing hugely the deputation avenues for IPS officers. The CPC has failed to suggest ways and means to meet the 40% deputation quota for IPS officers effectively rendering the IPS a provincial service rather than an All India Service.

The CPC has placed the earlier lower pay scale Rs.14300-450-22400 in the proposed PB4 band while placing the earlier pay scale of Rs.16400-450-20000 (of DIG) in PB3 which is grossly unfair to the IPS.  

D. THE CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGE OF PAY BANDS AND GRADE PAY

Presently, the various issues of precedence, housing etc. are governed by the date of entry in to a pay scale. With the introduction of the pay band and grade pay system, the IPS officers would suffer in all such matters throughout their career.

The CPC has recommended that whenever any IAS officer of a particular batch is posted in the Centre in pay bands PB-3 or PB-4, grant of higher pay scale on non-functional basis should be given by the Government to the officers belonging to batches of organized Group A services that are senior by two years or more. The higher pay should be given to such Group A officers irrespective of the availability of vacancies in that pay band. Keeping DIG at the inferior PB-3 pay band will lead to great discrimination as an IPS officer at that level will not get the advantage of this recommendation. Surprisingly, the IPS has been denied even this benefit.

The officers of Central Secretariat Service are now eligible for grade pay of Rs.9000/- during the 16th year of service (which the IAS officer attains in 14th year of service) while the IPS officers are eligible for the same on completion of 18 years forcing the IPS to trail even the Group B services of GOI.

E. THE INJUSTICE TO THE POST OF DG OF THE STATE

The post of Director General of Police has been hit the hardest after that of DIG. The DG could earlier draw the same pay as the Secretary to the Govt. of India after three years of service in DG's pay scale. It shall now take him a minimum of six years; an unlikely event in view of the age profile. Moreover, the DG drawing the pay of Rs.26,000/- on 01.01.2006 is proposed to be fixed at Rs.71,270/- (Rs.58,270+13,000) while his counterpart drawing the same pay is proposed to be fixed at Rs.80,000/- leaving a huge margin of Rs.8,730/- in addition to other proportionate benefits. No rationale has been given for not placing the State DGP in the Apex Scale. Ironically, it is the state DGP who shoulders the responsibility of maintaining Law & Order, fighting terrorism, insurgency and the ever increasing crime.

The number of such 'Apex' (Rs 80,000 fixed) posts in GOI which an IAS officer can occupy is 206, which is 200-300% their annual recruitment.  Similarly, there are 26 such 'Apex' posts for the IFS officers, which is at least 200% its annual intake.  While there are only 5 such 'Apex' posts for the IPS, which is only 7% of its annual intake.  Now, the few others, who could have got to this Apex Grade by sheer length of their service, shall not be able to get there.

The Commissions bias against the IPS is reflected in the fact that while it has recommended that "The government should consider upgrading member CBDT presently in the scale of Rs 24050-26000 to the revised apex pay band of Rs 80000 (fixed);" it did not find it fit to recommend the same for the DG's of police of the States. On the contrary the scale has been downgraded to that of Addl Secy., GOI.

It may be worth mentioning that if the Pay Commissions report is accepted Chief Secretary Sikkim shall get 80,000, while DG UP shall only get Rs 72,270 at the end of his pay band (PB-4).

F. OUR CONSIDERED DEMANDS

In view of the above observations, the General Body of the IPS Association- Jharkhand Chapter unanimously resolves to urge the appropriate authorities for the following:-

1. The grade pay of constable should be increased to Rs.2400/- and those of Head Constable, ASI, SI and Inspector should also be suitably increased and all benefits should match with those of the Armed Forces.

2. There is absolutely no case for any edge to any service over the IPS and hence absolute parity at all levels may be ensured.

3. All pay bands and grade pay should be exactly the same for all the All India Services at all stages of career.

4. The existing pay scale of DIG (Rs.16400-450-20000) should be placed in the proposed pay band PB4 with grade pay of Rs.9000/-

5. The eligibility period for the post of DIG should remain 14 years.

6. Subject to the acceptance of the last two proposals, an officer in grade pay PB4 may be known as IG in the 16th year of service.

7. Deputation to the posts of DIG and IG in the CPMFs should be retained at the current level.

8. IPS officers should be granted the corresponding grade pay as soon as they become eligible for the same.

9. The eligibility for IPS officers for the grade pay of Rs.11000/- and Rs.13000/- should be 25 years and 30 years of service respectively at par with the IAS officers.

10. State DGP should be fixed in Apex Scale.

G. EPILOGUE: IT'S NOT SO MUCH ABOUT PAY AS ABOUT THE DIGNITY OF THE SERVICE

Sir, we would hasten to add that this representation is not so much about getting pay parity/enhanced pays as about dignity of the service. As a service we want to be given the acknowledgement and respect that is due to us in terms of the sensitive and critical nature of our work in the context of nation building and preservation of the national fabric. Fortunately or unfortunately pay is the most visible systemic acknowledgement of the value of a service. It is the apparent indication of the dignity and status accorded to the service as such. Like any other service we expected this Pay commission to set the role of police in the right perspective. Unfortunately, it has failed to do so. From the subordinate ranks up to the leadership (IPS) level the khaki has been given a blatantly unfair deal.

 Sir we are more than conscious that we cannot only demand but we have to deliver. We will be the first to admit that the country deserves a better police system. It is worth noting that it took a few IPS officers to file a PIL in the Supreme Court to implement the police reforms. Even these reforms have not been properly implemented despite a groundswell of support for most of its recommendations/rulings by the apex court of this country.

Sir, this is an SOS call to you to by the members of the police service to step in and take the call for nothing but fairness of treatment and just acknowledgement of our role in keeping this country together. Policing is a most visible and vital tool of good governance.  In a scenario where its very role is negated and where its self-respect is hurt the quality of cutting edge governance is bound to suffer.