The Punjab Police are set to promote over 3,000 cops who were stagnating on one rank for the past over a decade.Among the worst sufferers of the delayed promotions were the 1988-batch assistant sub-inspectors (ASI). Only 18 of about 80 ASIs had reached the rank of Superintendent of Police (SP), while the rest were serving as DSPs since 2006.The Punjab and Haryana High Court had in December 2014 directed the police department to remove disparity in the ranks, but the department had not implemented the order. As the court had given a deadline of four months, many litigants filed contempt of court applications.The department finally started the process of examining the cases in December last year. After studying the files of nearly 8,000 cops, the cases of 3,120 have been finalised. In 2011, some cops were promoted under the system of ‘charge and rank’, but these were not regular promotions. It is after several years that such large-scale promotions of the ranks of SP and below are being taken up.As many as 3,120 cops of different ranks would be promoted within the next few weeks. Of those, 50 will be SPs, 150 DSPs, 359 inspectors, 775 sub-inspectors and 1,391 head constables.The promotion policy called ‘recasting of seniority’ has been approved in principle by Deputy Chief Minister and Home Minister Sukhbir Badal. Several groups of different ranks of cops or individuals have been sending applications to him to remove disparity in the force.He will table the policy for approval at the next Cabinet meeting.

The Cabinet’s nod is required because due to the recast, about 200 other cops might lose their promotions.Director General of Police Suresh Arora and ADGP (Administration) Dinkar Gupta said it had been proposed that no person should lose any rank, so to avoid further litigation. “The promotions were long overdue. The delay was causing heartburn, besides leading to lack of motivation,” Arora said. The cops who will escape reversion include a number of sportspersons.Disparity between different cadres, delayed action by seniors on court orders, and pending litigations had contributed to the delay in promotions.Gupta said the problem came to light in 2007 when the Punjab Police Act was enforced. It was found that the Punjab Armed Police (PAP) had effected promotions faster than the other cadres. The PAP force was deployed frequently during the days of terrorism. As more battalions were raised, the existing cadre had better promotion avenues. Gupta stated that after 2007, the department was divided into four cadres: district police, PAP, technical and support staff, and intelligence. “This allows regular promotions,” he said.Arora said the promotions would be morale-boosting for the force and many vacant posts would be filled. There are some districts where even two posts of SP are lying vacant. The police recently posted lists of ASIs and SIs on its website and invited objections.