CP row: Not just seniority, Mumbai's safety also important, says RR Patil

Feb 18, 2014, 08:52 IST | Ravikiran Deshmukh

The Home Minister added that the state government would give the sulking officers seven days to take charge

In a no-holds-barred admonition to senior cops who are sulking over being denied the post of Commissioner of Police (CP), Mumbai, Home Minister R R Patil stated that it wasn’t just experience that mattered for the post; safety of Mumbai, too, was of primary concern.

Home Minister R R Patil has given the sulking cops seven days to take charge of their respective portfolios. FILE PIC
Home Minister R R Patil has given the sulking cops seven days to take charge of their respective portfolios. FILE PIC

The comments come in the backdrop of reports that said Vijay Kamble, appointed as the new CP of Thane, and Javed Ahmed, promoted to director general of police (Home guards), were unhappy with the Congress-led state government’s decision to appoint Rakesh Maria as Mumbai CP. Both the officials are said to be reluctant to take charge of their new responsibilities.

No politics
Explaining how the candidate was chosen, Patil, at his Mantralaya office, said, “The government took into consideration the tenure of service and positions these three officials have held in Mumbai Police, and the challenges before the city.” He refuted allegations that Maria’s appointment carried any political flavour.

“The government never takes into consideration caste, religion while making appointments. Even seniority was considered on rare occasions only,” he stated. He further added that the state didn’t take a lot of time in making the new appointment, as was being alleged.

“As per the amended Bombay Police Act that incorporated police reforms, the police establishment board recommended three names Vijay Kamble, Satish Mathur and Rakesh Maria. We acted on the recommendations within seven days,” said the minister.

Seniority overruled
He cited previous instances, saying that seniority was not the sole criteria for selection in 97 per cent of the cases. “The state has overruled the seniority factor. And in the present case, no official who is reportedly dissatisfied has expressed his displeasure to me,” he told this newspaper.

‘For the people’
In some cases, the tenure of service for the contenders was short and the home department wasn’t keen on appointing them for a short period. But, he was stern on his position with respect to senior police officers, such as CP, saying they were officers for the people and not other officials.

“The post of Thane CP is no less important,” quipped the home minister, in response to media reports that Vijay Kamble was unhappy over his appointment in Thane despite being senior to Rakesh Maria. “If the officers do not take charge within 7 days, the period offered for joining, the government will think otherwise,” cautioned the home minister, hinting that the state might go for fresh appointments.

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