Delhi Police Commissioner gets a month’s extension; Chidambaram terms it ‘incomprehensible’

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Amulya Patnaik was appointed as the Delhi Police Commissioner in January 2017. (Express photo: Renuka Puri)

The Ministry of Home Affairs on Friday notified that the service of Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik has been extended by a month evoking sharp criticism from Congress leader P Chidambaram, who termed the extension "incomprehensible".

The order came a day after the Election Commission of India approved Patnaik's extension sought by the ministry in view of the Assembly elections in the national capital.

The Home Ministry in its order said, "...approval of the competent authority is hereby conveyed for extension in service of Shri Amulya Kumar Patnaik, IPS (AGMUT: 1985) for a period of one month beyond his date of superannuation (i.e. 31.01.2020) in relaxation of Rule 16(1) of All India Services (Death-cum-Retirement Benefits)Rules, 1958, in public interest."

Chidambaram, however, condemned the decision saying, "The Police Commissioner of Delhi gets an extension on the day there is a shooting in the presence of a substantial police force. Incomprehensible and reprehensible."

He also asked what action has been taken into the firing incident near the Jamia campus on Thursday. Taking to Twitter, he wrote, "One has got an extension, but who has been suspended for the deplorable shooting yesterday?"

Patnaik was set to retire on Friday after a three-year tenure. He was appointed as the Delhi Police Commissioner in January 2017.

Patnaik, who did his graduation from Odisha and is an MA in Political Science from Delhi University, is from the 1985 AGMUT cadre of the IPS and was first posted as Assistant Commissioner of Police (Najafgarh sub-division).

Patnaik has enjoyed key postings in the Delhi Police, some of them being the DCP (East), DCP (South), Joint CP (southern range), Joint CP (Crime) and Special CP (Vigilance).

He was also posted as Inspector General of the Special Protection Group and in 2003, managed the security of then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Patnaik has also served as SSP, Law & Order, Puducherry, and as DGP of Mizoram.

The national capital will go to polls on February 8, with the counting of votes scheduled to be held on February 11.

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