In an apparent lapse by the Pinarayi Vijayan-led Left government, an RTI query has revealed that the posting of Loknath Behra as state Vigilance chief had no clearance from the Union Ministry of Home Affairs and the Personnel department.
Behra was made Vigilance head in March last year and he is also Kerala police chief.
As per rules, if any officer is posted as state Vigilance chief, even on a temporary basis, permission has to be taken of the Union Home and Personnel Ministries. Apparently, in Behra's case, this has not been followed.
Former State Home Minister and senior Congress legislator Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan termed it "a huge lapse" on the part of the Vijayan government not to have informed the Centre about Behra's appointment.
Behra, known as the the 'blue eyed boy' of the Vijayan government, was posted as state Police chief the day Vijayan assumed office in May 2016, after the then chief TP Senkumar was moved out.
However, Senkumar after an 11-month legal battle got his post back through a Supreme Court directive.
Behra returned as state police chief after Senkumar retired after serving 55 days as state police chief in May last year, and since then he has been holding both the posts.
According to RTI activist DB Binu, not seeking approval of the Union Home and Personnel ministries is "a clear violation of all rules and procedures". He said "the rules are very clear that the state government has to inform the Centre and get clearance for appointment to the posts of Vigilance chief, and in this case it has not happened."
"Now all the Vigilance cases that Behra has probed should be reopened," said Binu.