Appoint nodal officer to ensure proper use of funds: Punjab DGP Bhawra to police officials
Punjab DGP Bhawra also directed the district police heads to hold seminars for the investigation officers to make them aware about the funds and the way to utilise it
With the funds allotted to the police department by the government for investigation of cases remaining underutilised, Director General of Police (DGP) VK Bhawra has written to the senior officials to appoint a nodal officer to ensure that the money is used properly and conduct random checks as to where the investigation officers are arranging money from.
In a letter to Commissioner of police and Senior Superintendents of Police (SSPs) on Thursday, Bhawra asked them to appoint a nodal officer of superintendent of police or deputy superintendent of police rank so that the funds would be utilised properly.
The district police heads have also been asked to hold seminars for the investigation officers to make them aware about the funds and the way to utilise it. They have also been asked to check random cases to find out from where the investigation officer had arranged the money.
The police department issues ₹ 5 crore per year to the police stations as expenditure for investigating the cases and stationery. In 2020-2021, the police department spent only ₹ 1.90 crore, which is only 38% of the allotted funds and the rest of the money lapsed. In 2021-2022, the police used ₹ 4.18 (83.6%) crore out of the allotted money.
In the fiscal year 2022-2023, the government has already issued ₹ 1.22 crore as first instalment for the first quarter of the year.
According to the police personnel, the department issues them ₹ 3,000 per case that includes reply of the writ petitions, court fees of the cases, DNA-Narco test, removal of dead bodies and other tasks, which is insufficient. In case of filing one reply, the advocates charge ₹ 3,000 to 5,000.
An SHO, on the condition of anonymity, said that only one official vehicle of the police station, which is used by the SHO, gets fuel from the department, while they have to arrange fuel on their own for other vehicles used for duty. Moreover, in case of conducting raids in other states, they have to manage the expenditure on their own.
The police personnel also said that claiming the funds is a tiring and lengthy procedure, so they merely go for it. On an average, the Ludhiana police lodge 7,500 FIRs every year, which means nearly 45% of the total funds is required in Ludhiana police commissionerate only.