Mumbai Crime Branch chief wants to be Special CP, CM says no

Crime Branch head Atulchandra Kulkarni says that as an additional director general, he will be designated as a special commissioner, but the chief minister counters his claim, saying there is no such plan

The Mumbai police have been abuzz with the talk that Atulchandra Kulkarni, the head of the Crime Branch, will be designated as a special commissioner after his elevation to the rank of additional director general (Addl DG) of police. Even Kulkarni has been assuming so, but the government has some other plans for the officer.

Kulkarni is likely to be shifted soon to the state police headquarters as Addl DG (administration) or to the Anti-Corruption Bureau, where a vacancy of Addl DG is available. File pic
Kulkarni is likely to be shifted soon to the state police headquarters as Addl DG (administration) or to the Anti-Corruption Bureau, where a vacancy of Addl DG is available. File pic

Sources said that Kulkarni was likely to be shifted soon to the state police headquarters as Addl DG (administration) or to the Anti-Corruption Bureau, where a vacancy of Addl DG is available.

In the last two days, media persons have been exchanging a message that was purportedly sent across by Kulkarni himself after his promotion on December 30. Kulkarni has said in the text message that he will be posted as the city’s special commissioner on the lines of the New Delhi police, where all Addl DG rank officers are designated so.

Kulkarni’s declaration raised many eyebrows because the Home department hadn’t issued any order for re-designating the officer as special commissioner.

When asked on Friday, Kulkarni reiterated his stand. “I’ve been asked to continue with this office (Crime Branch where he has been working). I assume that the system in Mumbai too will work like the one in New Delhi where all Addl DG rank officers are designated as special commissioners,” Kulkarni told mid-day on Friday.

When asked whether he would get special powers as special commissioner, Kulkarni asked us to get the issue clarified from the government.

But CM Devendra Fadnavis flatly denied any plan of making Kulkarni the city’s first special police commissioner. “There is no such plan and he will be posted soon (on transfer to another office),” he told mid-day on Friday.

The CM’s disapproval means that Kulkarni will have to forget his plan of enjoying some extra powers like special commissioners in New Delhi, who get to control some elite units.

Kulkarni has been heading the city’s Crime Branch since March last year, and after his elevation, he was asked to retain the charge of the Crime Branch which earlier would have a joint CP (of the rank of special inspector general) in charge. The officer has worked several years in the Intelligence Bureau (IB).

The city police’s top office will also see a change very soon as a DG-level officer Datta Padsalgikar has been finalised to head the force. Ahmad Javed, the outgoing CP and ambassador-designate to Saudi Arabia, is expected to move out before January 31 (the official date of his superannuation). The CP’s post was upgraded last year when Javed, a DG-rank officer, replaced Rakesh Maria.

The transfer and promotion orders issued on December 30 have also created a hierarchical confusion in Thane Police, because Joint CP VV Laxminarayan has been asked to continue in the post (held by an IG) despite his elevation to the Addl DG rank. With Laxminarayan’s promotion, Thane has the second Addl DG-rank officer. Parambir Singh, the existing Addl DG-ranker, heads the city force. Sources said the government may choose between the two officers to lead the Thane police.

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