Chavan,Patil differences delay IPS transfers,postings

NCP ministers want debate in cabinet meeting Wednesday

Written by Shubhangi Khapre | Mumbai | Updated: April 9, 2014 6:08 pm

Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and Home Minister R R Patil are at loggerheads again over transfer and posting of senior IPS officers. As a result,transfers and posting are being delayed.

Sources in the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) said,“Chavan does not want political interference in IPS postings. He wants transfers in accordance with guidelines,as effected the last few years.”

There are differences between Chavan and Patil over a couple of senior posts,including commissioner of police.

A senior officer in CMO said,“The real reasons for delay in IPS transfers are not being discussed. There is no consensus between Congress and NCP on candidates for key posts.”

“Ahead of the 2014 elections,there is a tussle over control of home department,” said a senior bureaucrat in the general administration department (GAD).

He said,“If CM and HM sit together,they can solve problems created by two sets of rules in the police force in Maharashtra.”

Patil said,“First,we need to decide whether IPS transfers should be as per Maharashtra Transfer and Promotion Act or as directed by Supreme Court.”

Maharashtra Transfer and Promotion Act allows transfer only after an officer has completed three years in a post,while SC says two years are enough.

Chavan has convened a cabinet meeting Wednesday to discuss the matter.

NCP is likely to hold a pre-cabinet meeting Wednesday to discuss the issue internally. Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar,former Home Minister Chhagan Bhujbal and other senior ministers will participate.

A senior Congress minister said,“All IPS positings above the rank of police inspector are under the jurisdiction of Chavan. Even in out-of-turn postings,he can exercise authority.”

Chavan has shortlisted a few candidates for key posts. However,the home department is insisting the government first decide whether Maharashtra Transfer and Promotion Act or Supreme Court directives will apply.

Patil said,“It’s high time we end the ambiguity. Why should the police department be subjected to two sets of rules?”

Political advisers to CM countered,“The two sets of rules being cited by NCP ministers have been in existence since 2006. Why are they complaining now?”

Patil clarified,“Last year,senior IPS officers went to Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal and the high court which upheld their transfers.”

He said if the state Act was applied,only 12 officers would qualify and if Supreme Court directives were followed,the number would increase substantially.

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