While holding Bhandara Superintendent of Police Dilip Zalke guilty on most counts for the face-off with collector Dheeraj Kumar about two months ago, the Manukumar Srivastav Committee has recommended the state government to authorise the district collectors to write Annual Confidential Reports (ACR) of the SPs in all districts.
Srivastav, Principal Secretary (Revenue), was asked to submit a report in the incident involving heated exchanges between the two officers on August 27 over an incident of assault on a tahsildar by the editor of a local weekly in Bhandara. The collector had taken an unprecedented step of leading a delegation of about 80-90 revenue department staffers to lodge a protest against the tepid police response to an alleged attack on a tahsildar of Pavni tehsil by Manohar Meshram and Barfatil Jwala. The Pavni tahsildar office staff had protested by striking work.
The collector had allegedly termed the SP as “incompetent to handle the position” in the SP’s chamber. Angry over it, the SP had allegedly asked the collector to “get out”. Srivastav heard both the sides at Nagpur and submitted his report towards the end of September. A senior official said, “Srivastav dedicated only a few lines on the conduct of the collector saying he violated protocol by going to the SP’s office. But he largely held the SP guilty on most other counts in a report stretching over 14 pages. Srivastav then ventured into the territory of jurisdiction superiority.”
A senior police official said, “It is a well settled position of the law that the power to write confidential reports of any government official vests with the superior officials of the departments. To now revert to the British-like position of the 19th century is regressive.”