Mumbai: Sion ACP Rajendrakumar Trivedi takes on top cop, and wins
Police Commissioner Subodh Jaiswal suffers first blow as Tribunal overturns his order transferring ACP Rajendrakumar Trivedi on grounds that he has no such powers
CommissionerSubodh Kumar Jaiswal may be chief of the Mumbai police, but he's not necessarily the boss of them, as Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Rajendrakumar Trivedi has demonstrated. After Jaiswal transferred Trivedi, the Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal set aside the order saying the CP doesn't have power to change postings of ACP rank and above.
On January 1, 2017, Rajendrakumar Trivedi was posted as the ACP at Sion. However, in August, he was shocked to learn about his transfer to the Local Arms Unit (LA), before he could complete his tenure of two years. Irked with the abrupt transfer order, the 57-year-old policeman decided to take the police department head on by moving the Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal (MAT).
Trivedi contested the order on two grounds — that the Mumbai Commissioner of Police (CP) is not the competent authority to issue transfer him and, secondly, every officer is granted fixed tenure and cannot be transferred mid-tenure. According to the Maharashtra Police Act, 1951, the normal tenure for an officer of ACP-rank or deputy superintendent of police is two years at each posting, and the competent authority to issue transfer orders for IPS-rank officers is the home minster (currently, the chief minister).
Subodh Jaiswal issued the transfer order on August 7
ACP Trivedi made the CP, as well as the additional chief secretary (Home, Maharashtra) and director general of police (DGP) party to his case. Interestingly, while the transfer order was issued and implemented on August 7, ex–post facto sanction was accorded by the Home department on August 16, more than a week after the fact. During the hearing, Trivedi's advocate, Makarand Lonkar, argued that statutory provisions were not followed while issuing the transfer order. In response, Swati Manchekar, chief presenting officer on behalf of the Mumbai CP and Home Department, stated that this was not a transfer but merely internal shifting. Further, she argued that this was a purely administrative matter and cannot be subject to judicial review.
However, MAT judicial member A P Kurhekar observed in the court order dated November 28, "The contention raised by the respondents that it is mere internal shifting and not transfer, is misconceived and not acceptable." He further observed that "Respondent No. 3 [Commissioner] has issued transfer order who is not authorised in law to do the same", and "the competent authority to transfer an ACP is the Home Minister".
The tribunal therefore quashed the transfer order and the saction from the home department issued on August 7 and 16 respectively. Kurhekar directed that the Trivedi should be reinstated as ACP, Sion within two weeks of the order. Speaking to mid-day, Trivedi said, "I am happy with the order." Despite repeated attempts to contact Manchekar and Mumbai Police PRO, DCP Manjunath Shinge, neither was reachable for comment.
Grounds for transfer
Early transfer is allowed if disciplinary proceedings are instituted or contemplated against the personnel, if he/she is convicted by court of law, if there are allegations of corruption against the officer, or if police personnel is guilty of dereliction of duty.
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