Approving 11 AIG posts a move made in haste?The government on Monday approved 11 positions for additional inspector general (AIG) of police, with a view to deputing one AIG in each province.
The government on Monday approved 11 positions for additional inspector general (AIG) of police, with a view to deputing one AIG in each province.
But the decision has been called into question by some officials close to the matter, who say it was a hasty move as the Ministry of Home Affairs is still drafting the Federal Police Bill, which will outline police structure in the federal set-up.
The decision has ignored the possible structure of Nepal Police in the federal set-up, including as to who will lead the provincial police organisation, various officials told the Post.
Such decisions can easily influence the law-drafting authorities and compel them to include the “already decided provision” in the bill, said a high-level official at MoHA. “Even if the bill is endorsed as it is, there must be the consent from the Ministry of Finance. On top of that, an organisation and method (O&M) survey must be conducted before increasing the sanctioned positions,” added the official.
According to Monday’s Cabinet decision, of the 11 AIGs, seven will be deputed in each province and four will be stationed in Kathmandu Valley.
According to officials involved in drafting of the bill, deputing AIGs to each province is not supported by laws. The decision instead violates Nepal Police Regulations 2014 that explicitly talks about conducting an O&M survey before adding new positions, they said. “Such gross violation of rules apparently makes Home Minister [Janardan] Sharma no different than other ministers,” said a top official.
While unveiling an 84-point reform roadmap for the home administration recently, Minister Sharma had said he would stop political interference in the law enforcement agencies and end the culture of nepotism.
But Monday’s abrupt decision to appoint 11 AIGs has raised many an eyebrow, as many are questioning the timing, saying there was no hurry as such to make that move at a time when MoHA is yet to finalise police organisations in the federal structure.
Appointments in the law enforcement agencies, especially in Nepal Police and the Armed Police Force, are often linked with political interest, with the recent incident of police chief appointment grabbing media headlines and reaching the Supreme Court.
Historically there has been a tendency among political parties to ignore the existing rules and pick police officials “of their choice” for top posts.
Jhankha Nath Dhakal, deputy spokesperson for MoHA, said that Nepal Police had first proposed the positions of AIGs and that the proposal was taken for approval to the Cabinet. “Even MoHA had felt the need of AIGs,” said Dhakal, stopping short of commenting on the decision to depute seven AIGs in each province. Nepal Police does not have AIGs since February 13 when 11 of them retired along with then police chief.
In the past, number of AIGs has been added on an ad-lib basis “to adjust police officials”. In 2014, then minister for home affairs Bamdev Gautam had increased the number of AIGs to nine from seven “to adjust police officials close to his party”.
Experts said creating such positions to accommodate police officials close to political parties will have a long-term effect on the force.
“Even in the past such leadership positions have been created and disbanded. Such haphazard positions have been hugely debated by officials themselves in the past. This is also a waste of resources,” said former deputy inspector general Hemanta Malla Thakuri. “It impacts the leadership and weakens the police force.”