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March 27, 2023 3:00 am

Sonipat Police Commissionerate gets first Commissioner of Police

Chandigarh, January 2

A 2004 batch IPS officer of Haryana Cadre, B. Satheesh Balan, who is currently in Inspector General (IG) rank, has been posted as first-ever Commissioner of Police (CP) of newly established Sonipat Police Commissionerate by Haryana Government. Earlier, on 31 Dec, 2022 the State’s Home Department issued a Gazette Notification under Section 8 of Haryana Police Act, 2007 establishing the office of Commissionerate of Police of Sonipat which shall start functioning with effect from Jan 1, 2023.

This would be the fourth Police Commissionerate in Haryana after Gurugram, Faridabad and Panchkula. Pertinent that in Aug, 2011 although a Joint Police Commissionerate viz. for the twin districts of Ambala and Panchkula was established however in Oct, 2016, it was re-established only for the district of Panchkula.

As per Haryana Police law, the Commissioner of Police is a senior IPS officer not below the rank of the Inspector General of Police (IGP). Hence, he/she can also be of one rank senior i.e. Additional Director General of Police (ADGP). Currently in Gurugram and Panchkula, the CPs currently posted viz. Kala Ramachandran and Sandeep Khirwar are both of ADGP rank. However, CP of Faridabad Vikas Arora is IG rank IPS officer.

Meanwhile, an Advocate at Punjab and Haryana High Court, Hemant Kumar, while welcoming the establishment of new Commissionerate of Police of Sonipat has however appealed to the Haryana Government for making appropriate amendment(s) in the two Gazette Notifications issued on 31 July 2009 and 26 Aug 2009 pertaining to establishment of Police Commissionerates in Faridabad and Gurugram (then Gurgaon) districts of the State respectively so as to bring them in line/tune with the two other such Notifications regarding constitution of Police Commissionerate in Panchkula and Sonipat districts.

Hemant has pointed out that although in case of Commissioners of Police (CPs) of Panchkula and Sonipat they have been conferred the power of District Magistrate (DM) under Sections 133 and 144 of Chapter X of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) within their respective Commissionerates, however the same has not been done in case of CPs of Faridabad and Gurugram for the reasons best known to the higher authorities in the State’s Home Department. If this has been an inadvertent omission or well intended one is anybody’s guess ?

The Advocate further pointed out that also in case of Gazette Notifications pertaining to establishment of Panchkula and Sonipat Police Commissionerates, a Schedule has been attached therein specifying the 11 Central Statutes viz. Explosives Substances Act, 1908, Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956, Prevention of Seditious Meetings Act, 1911, Police (Incitement of Disaffection) Act, 1922, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, Foreigners Act, 1946, Indian Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1908, Official Secrets Act, 1923, Sarai Act, 1867, Probation of Offenders Act, 1958 and Dramatic Performance Act, 1876 the concerned CPs have been also been empowered to exercise and perform within their respective jurisdiction the powers and duties of a District Magistrate for the purpose of Section 22 and 23 of CrPC in relation to the officers subordinate to him and for the Acts as mentioned hereinbefore.

Hemant legally opines that there ought to be complete uniformity in the powers of all four CPs in the State of Haryana especially in relation to exercise of powers of District Magistrate.

In support of his contention, the Advocate also cites the Second Proviso to Sec 8(ii) of Haryana Police Act, 2007 which stipulates that provided further that in any area for which a Commissioner (of Police) is appointed and is empowered to exercise any power of perform any function or duty under this Act or any other Act, the District Magistrate (means Deputy Commissioner/DC of such district who is an IAS officer) shall not exercise the same power or perform the same function or duty notwithstanding the fact that such area forms part of a district within the territorial jurisdiction of the District Magistrate.

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