Home Minister K.J. George was at pains to explain that the recent amendments to the Karnataka Police Act did not give more power to the government to transfer police officials.

Mr. George told presspersons here on Wednesday that before the amendments were passed, officers above the rank of Additional Superintendent of Police were transferred by the government on the advice of Police Establishment Board (PEB) that comprised four ‘senior most police officers.’ With the amendment, he admitted the government would choose ‘four senior police officers’ who would constitute the Board.

He added that the governmentdeserved such a power. “We need to have this power. We are the ones answerable to people, legislature, and reporters.”

Mr. George said the government was not accorded more powers and continued to follow the old process with a “small” change as desired by the Supreme Court.

Mr. George said police constables and sub-inspectors in the district were being transferred by the district Superintendent of Police, while inter-district transfers (same ranks) were being done by the Inspector General of Police. Transfers of ASP and officers below their rank were being done as per the decision of the Police Establishment Board. Mr. George said the amendment had specified that Additional Directors General of Police would have to serve at least a year in a given post.

He said several posts including that of Additional Director General of Police (Forest Cell) had not been filled because of problems in the functioning of the PEB. He said the government was considering filling of 20 per cent of 19,000 vacant posts with women candidates.