Chandigarh: Punjab government has appointed Vigilance Bureau Chief Siddharth Chattopadhyaya as the new Director-General of Police replacing IPS Iqbal Preet Sahota, said a press release by the Department of Home Affairs and Justice on Friday.
He will continue to hold the charge of DGP, PSPCL, Patiala, besides the additional charge as Chief Director, State Vigilance Bureau, added the press release.
Sidhu's influence on Chattopadhyaya appointment
State Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu had been pressing for Chattopadhyaya as DGP after the exit of Capt Amarinder Singh as Chief Minister.
Sidhu had even resigned as the Punjab Congress chief over the appointment of Iqbal Preet Singh Sahota as DGP.
Later, Sidhu withdrew his resignation but put a precondition that he would resume the charge the day a new advocate general was appointed and a panel for the appointment of a new director-general of police came from the UPSC.
Who is Siddharth Chattopadhyaya?
A 1986 batch IPS officer, Chattopadhyaya had during the Congress government from 2007 to 2012 probed the financial dealings of the Badal family.
It was Chattopadhyay, then in the Vigilance Bureau, who had arrested Parkash Singh Badal in a corruption case in 2003. A few years ago, Chattopadhyay was also appointed head of a special investigation team (SIT) by the Punjab and Haryana High Court to probe the role of senior police officers in the sale of illicit narcotic drugs in Punjab. His report remains in a sealed cover with the High Court.
Following Sidhu’s pressure, the government, led by Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi, sent the panel of 10 officers to the UPSC on September 30, ensuring Chattopadhyaya remained on that list.
A candidate for the position should have six months remaining on their service period, as per the norm. Chattopadhyaya will retire on March 31, 2022.