Punjab IGP suspended for using 31 cops as 'servants'

The Punjab government on Friday placed under suspension Punjab Inspector General of Police Satish Kumar Asthana for alleged misuse of power in his official capacity.

Asthana was using 31 police personnel at his residence and at other places for private use. Many of them were engaged in various formal and informal duties without any sanction at his residence .

Following a high-level inquiry, Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal and state Director-General of Police SS Saini on Friday suspended Asthana.

Asthana is also accused of giving manpower unauthorisedly to private persons to perform duties as personal security officers.  Disciplinary proceedings for a major penalty has been initiated against the officer.

“I have ordered Asthana's suspension after learning that he was misusing his position and subordinates. I will not tolerate such officials,” Sukhbir Badal said.  Asthana was IGP with the state vigilance bureau till recently. The episode came to light following a public interest litigation filed in the Punjab and Haryana High Court on October 11 bringing out the use of several unauthorised persons at Asthana’s residence.

The PIL filed by SK Nayar said Asthana was using 31 police constables and head constables as “servants.”

The division bench  of Justice AK Sikri and Justice Rakesh Kumar Jain, taking a serious note of the petition, issued notices to Asthana and the Punjab government to file their replies on October 12.

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