The Ram Pradhan panel report has pointed to serious mistakes by the state government that have impacted both the purchase of ammunition for the police force and the handling of intelligence inputs.
The report states that in the year 2000, the then deputy chief minister (Chhagan Bhujbal of the NCP, who is not named in the report) passed a directive that eventually became a roadblock for buying ammunition.
“The order issued in May 2000 that all purchases above Rs 25 lakh should be made with the permission of the Home Minister has led to problems. The government should increase the limit and hand over the work to a committee of senior officers,” it says. Bhujbal was also home minister at the time.
The report has also criticised senior state secretariat officials and highlighted confusion at the government level over handling of intelligence.
“If, because of the current system, the seniormost officials in Mantralaya do not get intelligence inputs, it is shocking. This functioning is not proper. Officers like the additional chief secretary (home) or the principal secretary (law and order), who is normally an IPS officer, should go beyond merely handling paperwork,” the report says.
Sources said this is a remark directed at former additional chief secretary (home) Chitkala Zutshi. The report makes it clear that co-ordination of the entire state police force is technically under supervision of the ACS (home), and that such officials are supposed to keep track of security systems within the state and also the everyday needs of the police.
However, the government in its Action Taken Report tabled in the state legislature on Tuesday has rejected these findings.
It has pointed out that the seniormost official in the home department is regularly briefed, and the ACS home is given intelligence inputs. The officer is briefed by both the Director General of Police and the state intelligence chief, the government has said.
The state has further pointed out that routine purchases for the police department do not require public tenders, and ammunition can be brought directly by the police commissioner and the DGP.