May 13, 2021 2:31:59 am
The Mumbai Police had on Tuesday ordered the dismissal of assistant inspector Sachin Waze without conducting any departmental inquiry while relying on Article 311 of the Constitution. In sharp contrast, the refusal to conduct an inquiry by the police was one of the grounds that had paved the way for Waze’s reinstatement in the force last year after he was suspended for 16 years in connection to the Khwaja Yunus custodial death case.
Waze – an accused in the Ambani terror scare and Mansukh Hiran murder cases – was first suspended from the force along with three constables in 2004 following an order by the Bombay High Court. Along with the suspension, the court had ordered that an inquiry be conducted against the four policemen.
For 16 years when the four remained suspended, no inquiry was conducted. On June 5, last year, they were reinstated in the Mumbai Police following a decision taken by a committee headed by the police commissioner.
Yunus’ mother Asiya Begum had approached the HC last year stating that the Mumbai Police could not have reinstated Waze and the three other policemen as no inquiry was conducted against them despite the court’s orders.
The police told the court that it had decided not to conduct an inquiry based on a rule in the police manual that it would be “practical” to wait for the final outcome of the criminal case they were booked for. The reply added that in 2006, a detailed note was prepared by a senior officer of the Mumbai police stating that there was no point of such an inquiry since the criminal case is underway and would contravene the legal provisions.
The Mumbai Police had then opposed Begum’s petition, which had sought that the four be suspended again.
On Tuesday, Mumbai Police Commissioner Hemant Nagrale relied on Article 311 of the Constitution to dismiss Waze, relying on his alleged involvement in the Ambani terror scare case, which is sub-judice too.
According to Article 311, no person who is a member of a civil service or holds a civil post can be dismissed or removed by an authority subordinate to that by which he was appointed. There are exceptions to these safeguards, which were used as ground to dismiss Waze.
Nagrale’s order makes no mention of the pending Yunus case. It also said that a regular inquiry will not be “reasonably practicable”.
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