Rakesh Maria’s removal not sudden, but processes for transfers & promotions given a go-by

5 other names were considered for the post, Javed not the first choice.

Written by Shubhangi Khapre , Sandeep A Ashar | Mumbai | Updated: September 9, 2015 8:00 am
Mumbai Police Commissioner, bombay High Court, Mumbai police, Mumbai traffic, Rakesh Maria, Milind Bharambe, Mumbai news, maharashtra news, india news, nation news, news Rakesh Maria’s removal from the Mumbai Police chief’s post was not abrupt.

Rakesh Maria’s removal from the Mumbai Police chief’s post was not abrupt. The government started the process well over a fortnight ago, which was confirmed by Additional Chief Secretary (Home) K P Bakshi. The state, however, did not fully follow the entire process stipulated for promotion and transfer of officials.

READ: New Mumbai police commissioner Ahmad Javed was once pipped by Rakesh Maria

The Indian Express has learnt that no meeting of the Police Establishment Board (PEB), which is authorised to make appropriate recommendations regarding postings and transfers of officials, was held in this case. The Maharashtra Police Act says the state government “shall give due weightage to these recommendations and shall normally accept them”.

READ: Rakesh Maria: The outgoing top cop ‘Bandra boy’ who made it big

For transfers and postings related to officers above the superintendent of police rank, a PEB headed by the ACS (Home), and comprising the state director general of police, director general (ACB), Mumbai Police commissioner, and additional DGP (Establishment) as members is in place. Senior officials pointed out that Maria would have had to recuse such a meeting since the matter dealt with his own posting. This process was, however, given a go-by, raising eyebrows. Under the law, it is the PEB’s mandate to collectively screen the seniority and track record of candidates before recommending a case.

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Interestingly, Bakshi clarified, Maria’s successor Ahmad Javed was not the only one in the race for the Mumbai Police’s top post. Two other DG-rank officials — Vijay Kamble and Satish Mathur — besides ADGPs Meeran Borwankar, D D Padsalgikar, and K K Pathak were also considered for the post. In fact, official sources said, Javed was not even the first choice.

READ: In middle of Sheena probe, Rakesh Maria shunted; Swaps jobs with Home Guards DG Ahmad Javed 

Fadnavis was keen on Padsalgikar, but the 1982-batch IPS officer, presently serving as additional director in the Intelligence Bureau in Delhi, declined the offer.

Bakshi, however, tried to play down the issue. “The PEB meeting is required when we have several posts and transfers to consider. This wasn’t the case here,” he said. Bakshi said Maria’s promotion and transfer were carried out as per another provision (section 22 (N) (II)) of the Maharashtra Police Act, operative parts of which say “in exceptional cases, in public interest, and on account of administrative exigencies, the competent authority shall make mid-term transfers”.
The CM, who also holds the home portfolio, is the competent authority for IPS transfers. Another government official, however, questioned whether the section was applicable to cases involving promotions and transfers.

Formally, the state government has justified the “administrative exigency” by claiming that a mid-term transfer was effected considering the law and order factor on account of the upcoming festive season. “It was necessary that the new police commissioner got time to assess the situation,” said Bakshi. Minister of State (Home) Ranjit Patil echoed his viewpoint. Both ruled out that the row over Maria’s meeting with former IPL chief Lalit Modi in London had any connection with the move.

Bakshi also refuted the suggestion that the government had gone against its own affidavit in the Bombay High Court where it had once said the Mumbai CP was an additional DG-level post and was not available for a DG-rank officer. “It was specific to the case at that time,” Bakshi said, adding there was nothing unusual in upgrading a post in civil services.

Highly placed sources in the home ministry said the decision to bring Ahmad was “based on his personal integrity and competence in the police force”. “An honest and upright IPS officer who was never known for lobbying or self-promotion deserved to lead the city,” said a senior official.
In fact, Ahmad was the frontrunner for the post when the Congress-NCP government took the decision to make Maria the police commissioner. “Former chief minister Prithviraj Chavan was in favour of Ahmad being given the post but the late R R Patil of NCP, who held the home portfolio, was keen on Maria,” said the official.

According to a senior Congress leader, Chavan’s decision was unacceptable to the NCP. “Yet, he had withheld the decision for 15 days, but had to go with the NCP as the latter made it clear it would not like any interference from the Congress in portfolios held by NCP ministers,” said the leader.

A senior AICC functionary had reportedly intervened to resolve the stalemate then, after NCP took up the issue with senior Congress leaders in Delhi. A former Congress minister said, “Chavan had no likes and dislikes when it came to selecting the police commissioner. It was felt that being the seniormost officer Ahmad deserved to be given the charge of Mumbai city.”

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  1. S
    Sep 9, 2015 at 11:11 pm
    maria the puppet of pawar
    1. R
      Rambha Ranjan
      Sep 9, 2015 at 1:57 pm
      Best news paper in india.
      1. A
        Sep 9, 2015 at 9:47 am
        t seems Present state Govt led by Devendra Fadnavis is the prisoner of indecision where they do not have firm grip and faith in Mumbai Police which is known as best police in India/world..Even ordinary person will agree that Rakesh Maria who is known as honest and most sincere IPS officer should not left out of Sheena Bora murder case when case was in final stage. RM has already told press Reporters that this case would not met like faith of Aroshi Murder case where CBI took over case from state police for its failure to solve mystery of Aroshi Murder case.No Govt Servaint will like to have such insult by shifting from his work in progress that too at higher up.
        1. D
          Sep 9, 2015 at 8:30 am
          It's definitely fishy. The very first day, I had predicted money will buy Police and Judges. It turned out this particular Commissioner was honest and almost brought out the criminal. So Maharashtra Government took the law in their own hand and got paid off. I could believe if it was Sharad Pawar or his peeing nephew
          1. M
            Mukut Behari
            Sep 10, 2015 at 10:34 am
            Maria transfer is brutal death of democratic system by politician.At last Maria has paid penalty for honesty, integrity and 24 hours working in Sheena Case!
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