CM Devendra Fadnavis is set to have a problem of plenty while choosing the next person to hold the Mumbai Police Commissioner’s post. A major reshuffle of senior Indian Police Service officers is expected when state Director General of Police (DGP) Sanjeev Dayal retires next month.
While Subodh Kumar Jaiswal (left) and Sanjay Barve are the reported frontrunners, the latter is believed to have an edge because he is Maharashtrian. File pics
CP Rakesh Maria will be promoted to the rank of DGP and shifted from his current office. And, since the Mumbai CP’s post is held by an officer of the rank of Additional DGP, Fadnavis will have several officers to pick from for the office, which every IPS officer of the Maharashtra cadre wants to occupy once in his career.
Fadnavis will have to choose between senior IPS officers like Datta Padsalgikar, Subodh Jaiswal, Sanjay Barve, K K Pathak, V D Mishra and Prabhat Ranjan. However, some of these officers will have just six months to go before they are eligible for promotion to the post of DGP, which will mean that they will have a very short tenure as the Mumbai top cop, which the state government is reportedly not in favour of.
Some officers are also set to retire soon. While the senior most DGP heads the state police force, other DGP-rank officials get to control various other agencies like the anti-corruption unit, police housing corporation and home guards.
Replacing Dayal will be a straightforward task because the current head of the Anti-Corruption Bureau, Praveen Dixit, will be the only choice as per the rulebook. After Dayal, Dixit is the senior-most IPS officer in the state. However, finding Maria’s replacement will largely depend on the discretionary powers, which the CM enjoys by law.
There is a provision of extending the incumbent’s tenure, but it may not happen in Maria’s case, said sources in Mantralaya. Sources also said the CM’s first choice was a Maharashtrian, Datta Padsalgikar (IPS batch of 1982), but the officer is not willing to return to his parent cadre in view of better prospects in New Delhi.
Currently, Padsalgikar is one of the senior-most officers in the Intelligence Bureau and is aspiring to get the post of the high-profile agency’s chief, which has status equivalent to the four-star chiefs of three defence forces. Sources added that even if he is made the CP, Padsalgikar would be eligible for promotion to the DGP post very soon and would, thus, not have a long tenure as the Mumbai commissioner.
Among the aspirants for the Mumbai CP’s post are Pune CP K K Pathak (1983 batch), Additional DG (Establishments) V D Mishra (1984 batch) and Navi Mumbai Commissioner Prabhat Ranjan (1984 batch). However, they are expected to miss the bus because they will have a short tenure if appointed as the Mumbai commissioner.
That leaves the field open for Subodh Kumar Jaiswal (1985 batch) and Sanjay Barve (1987 batch), Additional DG of the state ACB. Jaiswal, whose current high-profile posting cannot be revealed here in the interest of maintaining official secrecy, could be appointed if he fits the bill. He headed a Special Investigation Team that probed the Telgi stamp paper scam.
He also worked in Mumbai’s Anti-Terrorism Squad as its second-in-command and additional CP and has the distinction of having served in the Special Protection Group, which secures top politicians and the PM. The youngest of the lot, Jaiswal has seven years of service left in the IPS.
Barve (1987 batch), who is Additional DG in the ACB, is yet another choice for the post. He has worked in Mumbai for a long time, holding various posts. At ACB, he works closely with Praveen Dixit, the bureau’s DG, who will replace Dayal as state police boss from October 1 this year, after the latter retires on September 30.
Sources said that Barve’s alleged involvement in granting permission to Adarsh Housing Society in exchange of a flat for his family when he was city’s Joint CP (Traffic) will not be an issue as an inquiry conducted by ACB has not found any substance in the charge. But Barve’s main hindrance in making it to the Mumbai top cop’s office is that he belongs to the junior-most batch among the contenders.
However, the CM reserves the right to sideline seniors for the city commissioner’s post. Fadnavis had used discretionary powers in appointing a junior as Thane CP early this year, following which an aspirant for the post, K L Prasad had quit the service in protest. Incidentally, Thane CP Parambir Singh (1988 batch), too, is lobbying for the Mumbai post, said sources.
Barve may have the advantage of being Maharashtrian to win the approval from both the BJP and its ally Shiv Sena. If Barve gets appointed, the city police force will have a Maharashtrian head 11 years after D N Jadhav had commanded them. Barve has four years of service remaining.
>> Datta Padsalgikar: (1982 batch)
>> K K Pathak: (1983 batch)
>> V D Mishra: (1984 batch)
>> Prabhat Ranjan: (1984 batch)