Vinay Kumar

NEW DELHI: The Union Home Ministry on Friday sought to play down the controversy over denial of Delhi Police Commissioner post to Kiran Bedi, India’s first woman IPS officer who belongs to the 1972 batch of the Union Territory cadre and has just two more years to retire.

Ms. Bedi has alleged that her seniority and merit had been overlooked and the Government acted in a biased manner because she was a woman. While proceeding on a ‘protest leave’ for three months, Ms. Bedi, currently Director-General of Bureau of Police and Research Development (BPR&D), said that she was superseded by Yudhbir Singh Dadwal, two years her junior.

Well-placed sources in the Home Ministry said that there was no question of the Ministry showing a “gender bias” while assessing the case of Ms. Bedi for posting her as Delhi Police chief. Sources pointed out that she was already promoted to the rank of Director-General of Police (DGP) on August 1, 2006 whereas Mr. Dadwal got the rank only on Thursday; therefore, there was no question of her being superseded by any IPS officer junior to her.

Wider consultation

Sources said the Home Ministry ensured a “wider consultation process” and the matter of finding a suitable IPS officer to head the Delhi Police was also discussed by the Committee on National Security and Central Police Personnel Welfare.

Duggal cited

“The matter was put up before this Committee, a wider consultative process was followed so there is no question of any showing any bias,” sources said while pointing out that no individual could claim his or her suitability to a particular post.

Citing example of the former Union Home Secretary, V.K. Duggal, sources said that he was found suitable because of his experience in tackling difficult situations in the North-East.

Similarly, Mr. Dadwal’s experience of working in different capacities in Delhi Police in the recent past could have tilted the scales in his favour for appointment as Delhi Police Commissioner, sources added.