Mumbai: Elected representatives not to recommend transfers of officials
Elected representatives, especially from the ruling parties, are fuming because their own government does not want them to recommend transfers of officials
Elected representatives, especially from the ruling parties, are fuming because their own government does not want them to recommend transfers of officials. The restriction came into force last week with the police department asking 42 officers of inspector rank to show cause for seeking political interference to influence the establishment board, or else face strict disciplinary action.
Though the ministers or legislators have not been told directly to shun the practice of recommendations, a government notification bars officers from seeking official letters from politicians. At times, politicians want officers of their choice in their constituency, as having such a police officer helps when they (politicians) are upset.
The Director General of Police's office has cited a directive of General Administration Department saying disciplinary action will be initiated against erring officers under Maharashtra Civil Service Rules, 1979, if they don't explain the letters of recommendation they sent with their applications for transfers or sent separately to the department by politicians. The deadline for explanations is February 15.
Can't ignore requests
A minister fumed over the restriction. “In most cases government servants request us for help to get transferred to a place of his/her choice,” he said. A BJP office-bearer said such things were important to build the party's network.
“We complain government officials don't work. And when we ask for officers who are known for their good work, we're denied the privilege,” he said. The police department has establishment boards which recommend transfers for officers. But sometimes these have been scrapped by the Chief Minister and Home Minister.
Move to evade RTI queries?
Sources said activists and media have been increasingly seeking information (under RTI Act) in the past three years. “It's better not to have recommendation letters on record,” an officer said. “So, will unofficial recommendations of only certain influential people work? It seems we don't matter to our own government?” asked a BJP legislator, adding it must take a call on this before elections when having officers of choice mattered most.
No of cops who have to explain seeking political interference