Newly appointed Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh has upturned yet another decision taken by his predecessor Sanjay Barve. In August last year, the then Mumbai Police Commissioner Barve had issued two showcause notices to ‘12 decorated police officers’ for bypassing him and submitting a transfer request at the Office of Directorate General of Police. However, on Tuesday, Singh issued an order canceling the showcause notices but issued a warning to them.
Soon after taking over from Barve last week, Singh had stayed yet another decision of Barve, who had transferred 31 police officers just a day before his retirement.
Sources in the police department said that in mid-2019, the 12 officers had written to DGP Subhodh Jaiswal, requesting for a transfer from Mumbai Police to the state Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS).
The Indian Express has learned that days after Additional Director General of Police Deven Bharti was promoted to ATS chief from Joint Commissioner of Police (law and order), the 12 police personnel submitted an application to Jaiswal, asking for a transfer to the state ATS. The personnel are of different ranks, including senior police inspector, police inspector and assistant police inspector.
In the first showcause notice that was issued under the signature of Joint Commissioner of Police (admin) Nawal Bajaj, it was said that Mumbai Police is a disciplined force.
Barve, in the notice, added that the officers had failed to follow due procedure, according to which an officer has to submit a request of transfer to another unit to the chief of the unit they are serving in, which in this case was the Mumbai Police Commissioner.
The officers who were served showcause are police inspector Nitin Alaknure, Dinesh Kadam, Nandkumar Gopale, Dnyaneshwar Wagh, Sudhir Dalvi, Daya Naik, assistant police inspector Laxmikant Salunkhe, Deep Bane, Vishal Gaikwad, Deepali Kulkarni, Wilson Rodrigues and Ashwini Koli.
While in the second showcause notice, Barve had questioned why the officers’ increments should not be withheld and had sought a written explanation.
In their reply, the officers said that they had sought transfer to a unit that comes under the state DG. They further said that in the past, many officers have applied for direct transfer in this way and they have done the same.
While all this was underway, the DGP accepted their request and issued a transfer order, but 11 of the 12 officers were never relieved. Instead, the commissionerate transferred some of the officers to the control room (which is considered as punishment posting) that increased the confusion in the department.
However, three days after Singh took over the post of Mumbai Police Commissioner, he dismissed the notices served to them. A letter of similar order was issued by Bajaj on Tuesday. These notices are now void because the reply given to the notices is satisfactory and supportive, suggesting that these officers should be vigilant in the future.
This is, however, not the first time that the two top-ranking IPS officers appeared to have crossed swords.
On December 24, 2019, then Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) DGP Param Bir Singh had filed a second affidavit before the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court to say that though his predecessor (Barve) had taken note of the government communication giving a clean chit to former Maharashtra irrigation minister Ajit Pawar in the irrigation scam case, he had had not “dealt with it” in his affidavit.
Singh’s affidavit apparently admitted to a “bonafide mistake” in his December 20 affidavit in the PIL into the alleged scam, but effectively ended up further questioning the role of Barve.
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