There is a saying in the bureaucratic circles – if you are a good officer still you get frequent punishment postings if you happen to get into bad books of the politicians; but on the other hand, if you are in the good books of the political masters no one can harm you, even if you are an average officer.
This analogy holds good in case of Gupteshwar Pandey a 1987-batch IPS officer whose VRS application has been accepted within 24 hours to smoothen his transition into politics.
Gupteshwar Pandey– till recently serving as Director General of Police (DGP) of Bihar is in the news because of his decision to take voluntary retirement five months prior to his retirement on 28 February 2021.
Pandey an IPS officer and a close confidant of JDU Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was handpicked to adorn the DGP’s post on January 31, 2019, now wants to contest elections preferably from Buxur district 125 km from Patna the state capital.
“Nitish Kumar is my leader, I will do whatever he directs me to do,” Pandey reportedly told reporters after putting in his papers.
Though it is still too early to predict the outcome, Gupteshwar Pandey’s VRS application was accepted within 24 hours to contest the upcoming elections in Bihar in three phases — on October 29, November 3 and November 7.
Gupteshwar Pandey’s political ambitions are hardly a surprise as he also applied for VRS to contest as a BJP nominee in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections but rejoined IPS nine months after his wish to contest elections did not fructify.
Curiously while it is unheard of for someone to be re-inducted into service after taking VRS; Pandey not only back in service but appointed DGP by-passing his contemporaries.
Gupteshwar Pandey, 59, was born and brought up in Geruabandh village of Buxar district – one of the most backward villages of Bihar which at one time did not even have essential facilities like electricity, health, education, and roads. After completing his intermediate, Pandey studied at Patna University and appeared for the UPSC exam in the Sanskrit Language. He was allotted Indian Revenue Service – Income Tax but reappeared for UPSC and was allotted the Indian Police Service (IPS) 1987 Bihar Cadre.
As per rules laid down by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) government employees with 30 or more years of service can take voluntary retirement (VRS) before 60 – the official age of superannuation. But in order to do so, they have to give three months’ notice in writing to the state or central government.
Normally it takes a few months for the government to accept an application for VRS to ensure that there are no pending disciplinary or vigilance cases or other inquiries into alleged malpractice against the officer concerned. But surprisingly Pandey’s VRS application was cleared overnight.