The list of three IPS officers shortlisted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) panel for empanelment for the post of Maharashtra Director General of Police does not include the name of the incumbent Sanjay Pandey, who is holding charge of the post as “acting DGP”.
The three officers shortlisted include Anti Corruption Bureau chief Rajnish Seth, DG Home Guard K Venkatesham and Mumbai Police Commissioner Hemant Nagrale, The Indian Express has learnt.
Government sources said that it would now be up to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to decide whether to act on the recommendation.
The Supreme Court’s 2006 landmark Prakash Singh judgment on police reforms had directed that a state must appoint a DGP through a procedure that involves recommendation of a panel of three names by a UPSC committee, from which the state picks one. This was done to firewall the top police post from political favouritism.
The minutes of the UPSC meeting held on November 1 were sent to Chief Secretary S J Kunte on November 9.
A senior bureaucrat in the state said that CM Thackeray would take a final call on whether to accept the recommendation. A section of the state bureaucracy want Pandey to continue as DGP and said that the UPSC was only a recommendatory body. Pandey retires in June 2022.
A senior official said that there are state governments that have either not sent names of officers for empanelment or not followed UPSC recommendations.
The proposal of DG empanelment was sent to the UPSC on March 18 and it was returned to the state seeking more information in the first week of April. The state was also told to add two more names to the list of officers to be empaneled. The state home department was asked to give annual confidential records of all officers.
Soon after DG Subodh Jaiswal left for central deputation in January 2021, Hemant Nagrale was made DGP but no proposal was sent to the UPSC for ratification. The post fell vacant when Nagrale was made Commissioner of Police Mumbai after Param Bir Singh was shunted out following his allegations against former minister Anil Deshmukh. Pandey was then made Acting DGP on April 10.
A proposal was then sent to the UPSC on March 18 with names of 12 officers from the 1986 batch to 1989 batch of Indian Police Service.
Meetings were held in August and the final meeting was held on November 1, the minutes of which were signed later.
Rajnish Seth of the 1988 batch is working as DG ACB and will retire in December 2023. K Venkatesham of the 1988 batch works as DG of Civil Defence. Nagrale, the police commissioner of Mumbai, belongs to the 1987 batch and will retire in October 2022.
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