Corruption among civil servants would end only if politicians stop interfering in postings, observed former Mumbai Police commissioner Julio Ribeiro on Friday at an interaction with the topper of the latest batch of Indian Police Service probationers.
Recalling that NCP chief Sharad Pawar had once stated that the biggest industry in India was the “transfer industry”, Ribeiro said, “50% of corruption that happens in the civil services will stop if this industry comes to a halt. And in turn, this will only be brought to an end when politicians stop pestering senior police officials for transfer of other officials.” The retired top cop added that it was not new for young officers to be pressured into taking bribes and deviating off the parameters of law.
In his interaction with Sameer Aslam Shaikh, the 25-year-old Mira Road resident and Maharashtra cadre IPS probationer at the Public Concern for Governance Trust, Ribeiro stressed the importance of always being just and serving those in need, while fighting the evils that plague the nation.
A graduate in electrical engineering, Shaikh thanked Ribeiro for inspiring him to pursue a career in the Indian police force. Earlier this week, Shaikh had led the passing out parade at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy in Hyderabad and received the Prime Minster’s Baton and the Home Minister’s revolver.
Shaikh said that officers like himself have a duty to help the people in need while following the rule of law. “If you are being pressured into doing something, you have to say no, especially if it is against the law,” he said.
Recounting stories from his career, during which he was also Director General of Police of Gujarat and Punjab, Ribeiro said, “As DGP in Punjab, I was asked to detain some of the voters by a Union minister during the elections in the mid 1980s. I said no, because I was there to fight terrorism and injustice, not to stop people from exercising their rights.”
He added that when he was the Commissioner of Mumbai Police, his subordinates were asked by the then chief minister to release a high profile gangster because he would help fund the chief minister’s party in the elections.