For the past few days, the chair earmarked for the senior police inspector (SI) of Mulund station has been lying unoccupied. Ironically, this is because there are one too many cops in the station staking claim to that designation. Both JJ Jadhav, the ‘original’ claimant, and Phulsingh Pawar, the fresh candidate, claim that they are the station’s SI, thanks to an administrative quirk.
Last week, the home department promoted 102 senior police inspectors from across the state to the post of assistant commissioner of police (ACP). Among them, 22 senior inspectors from Mumbai and Navi Mumbai refused to accept the promotion. The rulebook says that if a senior police inspector refuses promotion, the department has the right to transfer him or her to another branch. One of the cops to refuse the promotion was SI JJ Jadhav of Mulund police station.
Soon, the office of the director general of police (DGP) transferred all 22 senior inspectors to different branches. Jadhav was transferred to Special Branch (SB)-I. Phulsingh Pawar, who was earlier posted in SB-1 was to told to replace Jadhav. During these developments, Jadhav was on leave as his wife was in the hospital. Needless to say, he was shocked to learn that he had been unceremoniously dropped from his chair, without being asked to formally hand over charge to Pawar.
A desperate Jadhav knocked on the doors of the Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal (MAT), telling them that his transfer was premature, as he had not completed the mandatory three years of his tenure as a senior inspector. On June 4, the MAT cancelled the police department’s order and said that Jadhav could continue serving as a senior inspector in Mulund.
Order in hand, a victorious Jadhav reached the police station, only to find a reluctant Pawar in his chair seat. Pawar, who had already assumed office, refused to return charge to Jadhav. He cited the order passed by the Commissioner of Police (CP). “I am senior inspector of this police station. I have assumed charge of the police station. I have CP’s order,” said Pawar.
Since then, there have been two senior inspectors in Mulund police station. Neither occupies the coveted chair, and staffers have been asked to report directly to the ACP. “As per transfer rule, I have not completed my tenure of three years. The honorable MAT has accepted this and passed an order in my favour, saying that I will continue as a senior inspector,” said Jadhav. “I am not aware of the matter as I was on leave. I will comment after taking my senior’s opinion,” said SN Chaudhary, spokesperson of Mumbai Police.
An administrative glitch resulted in two senior inspectors sharing a police station in Ulhasnagar last year. MiD DAY had reported the matter last year (‘Two senior inspectors, one police station,’ October 19). While the first had been in charge for a year-and-a-half, the Thane commissioner of police K P Raghuvanshi transferred another officer to the same post, with no clear orders to the ‘predecessor’. There was commotion when new senior inspector Deepak Kurulkar reached the police station at Ulhasnagar-I with his transfer order. Siddharth Wagh, the incumbent, refused to handover charge, as he had not received any relocation instructions.