Proposals to bell the cat include installing a higher-ranking officer above him

With the Bangalore Metropolitan Task Force (BMTF) booking a string of cases and registering FIRs (first information reports) against senior politicians and bureaucrats, efforts are believed to be under way to dilute the powers of its chief R.P. Sharma, an IPS officer.

Informed sources told The Hindu that hectic parleys are being held in this regard after the BMTF registered cases against Deputy Chief Minister and Home Minister R. Ashok, Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs S. Suresh Kumar, Minister for Health Aravind Limbavali, the former Housing Minister S.N. Krishnaiah Setty and senior bureaucrats.

Hierarchy

According to sources, senior bureaucrats have proposed to elevate the post of the person who heads the BMTF to the rank of Director-General of Police to ensure that Mr. Sharma, an Additional Director-General of Police, who has apparently become a thorn in the flesh of politicians and bureaucrats, reports to the senior officer before initiating action.

Not very long ago, the BMTF chief’s post was at the rank of Deputy Commissioner of Police. This was elevated to the rank of Inspector-General of Police. Mr. Sharma, who was an IGP when he was appointed to head the BMTF, was recently promoted as ADGP and the post automatically was upgraded to that rank.

Upgrading complications

But, sources said, there were “technical problems” in elevating the post. As of now, there are just four DG posts in the State — DG-IGP, DGP of the Department of Fire and Emergency Services, DGP of the Criminal Investigation Department and DGP of the Police Housing Board. “If the post of chief of BMTF has to be elevated, even the Prisons Department, which is presently headed by an ADGP, also needs to be upgraded. Both are independent wings of the Police Department and there are not enough officials of the rank of the DGP,” a source in the Home Department pointed out.

‘Not workable’

The source added that the proposal may not be feasible, as to elevate the rank, the State government will require the Centre’s permission. “Even if the Centre accords approval, it will be only for one or two years for administrative purposes,” the official added.

Sources in the BMTF said that despite all this hectic behind-the-scenes orchestrations, Mr. Sharma will continue to head the BMTF till December 13, 2013, which is as per the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) judgment. The judgment has also mentioned that the government could extend Mr. Sharma’s tenure if need be.

In other words, Mr. Sharma would be the BMTF chief till the completion of his two-year tenure as per the CAT order and any attempt of alteration is subjugation of judicial order and amounts to contempt, sources said.