Maharashtra’s Home Minister R.R. Patil is defending the appointment of Rakesh Maria as Mumbai’s new Police Commissioner. He has replaced Satyapal Singh who resigned to join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), surprising many, since he still had a year to go before retirement. Maria, a 1981-batch IPS officer headed the State’s Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) and is a senior police officer. But not all are happy with his elevation. At least two police officers have publicly aired their objections to the move. Seniority, not surprisingly, is the issue here. The two cops Vijay Kamble and Ahmed Javed have reportedly threatened to quit in protest for being sidelined by the State Government. Both officers are senior to Maria and were in the contention to replace Singh. Apparently, sources say, Kamble indeed was the frontrunner but at the last minute Maria pipped him to the finish line. The decision, they say, was ultimately a political one. The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) was plugging for Maria and managed to prevail over Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan. But will the disgruntled cops make good their threat and quit? Watch this space for updates.
Moved to Compassion?
Since 2009, A Shainamol, a 2007-batch IAS officer of the Himachal Pradesh cadre has been fighting a legal battle against the Centre for denying her the cadre of her choice. Her preference was for Kerala cadre, and despite her qualification as an OBC candidate she was allotted Himachal Pradesh. But interestingly, the matter recently took an interesting turn. The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) has finally agreed to send Ms Shainamol on deputation to Kerala for three years “on compassionate grounds”. But what has surprised babu observers is that the DoPT action comes in the backdrop of the ongoing legal battle. This creates a piquant situation, with the Central Government maintaining in court that her allotment of Himachal Pradesh cadre was done according to the relevant rules, but on the other hand acquiescing to the officer’s application “on compassionate grounds”. Will this strengthen or weaken the Government’s case against the babu, is what observers are debating.
In its tussle with the Central Bureau of Investigation chief Ranjit Sinha over the appointment of an additional director of the CBI, the Government has perhaps landed itself in yet another controversy. By naming Archana Ramasundaram to the post after Sinha managed to successfully oppose the appointment of the highly able IPS officer R.K. Pachnanda, former Police Commissioner of Kolkata, has created quite a stir. There is even a hint that the appointment is likely to be challenged in the Supreme Court. Ms Ramasundaram’s name was cleared by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, without the mandatory recommendation from the Central Vigilance Commissioner Pradeep Kumar. As could be expected, a controversy has erupted and the Government may have some explaining to do. Meanwhile, Mr Pachnanda who was in the middle of the strife, has meanwhile being posted as the Additional Director General (Operations) in the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).