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UP SC/ST Panel Chief Appointed by Yogi Govt. Violating Procedures, Reveals RTI

Tarique Anwar |
The appointment demonstrates that major administrative decisions in the state are made under political pressure from the top.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Uttar Pradesh rewarded former Director General of Police (DGP) Brij Lal – who joined the saffron party post retirement in 2014 – by “arbitrarily” appointing him as the chairperson of the state’s Scheduled Castes (SC)/Schedule Tribes (ST) Commission in April this year without due procedure. The appointment demonstrates that major administrative decisions in the state are made under political pressure from the top. 

In response to queries filed by Lucknow-based activist Nutan Thakur under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, the Social Welfare Department revealed that the appointment of the 1977 batch Indian Police Service (IPS) officer was made “directly by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, after summoning his file from the department”.

The RTI reply says that the Social Welfare Department Principal Secretary, Manoj Singh was directed to present the position of appointments in the SC/ST Commission, which he complied by presenting the file on April 17.

In this file, the chief minister directly appointed Lal as the commission’s chief on the same day without any departmental recommendation or due process adopted in this regard.

The department got “direction from the top” about providing “State Minister status” to Lal, which was presented on April 20, even without the recommendation of the departmental minister. The chief minister immediately approved it on the same day.

RTI activist Thakur told NewsClick that it demonstrates the “sorry state of affairs”. “Major administrative decisions are being made under political pressure from the top, violating the laid down procedures,” she said.

 As per norms, she said, the responsibility should have been given to those who have experience in the concerned field. “I don’t have any problem with Mr. Brij Lal, but he has experience in policing. Appointing him as the chief of the commission is certainly not a good choice,” she added.

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