KP Bakshi, additional chief secretary (home) told Hindustan Times on Tuesday that the transfers of IPS officers Rakesh Maria and Ahmed Javed took three weeks to process and claimed they had nothing to do with the ongoing investigation into the Sheena Bora murder case. Excerpts from an interview:
What was Maria shunted out and promoted out of turn days before his transfer was due (on September 30)?
There are firm reasons behind all government decisions and this one is no different. Some decisions are unpleasant but necessary. The decision was well thought out and was taken only after due deliberation and discussion at the highest level.
There are reports that Maria was shunted out as the political leadership was not happy with the way he handled the Sheena Bora murder case.
Not really. All murder cases are treated as equal by the department. It is the media that makes a case high-profile. Maria’s investigation into the Sheena Bora case has been excellent, and a charge sheet will be filed soon.
But the state government had given an undertaking in the high court that no officer of the rank of director general would be appointed Mumbai police commissioner…
There can be no such permanent restriction on the government. It was restricted to that point in time, when the issue came up in court, and does not apply to this appointment. There is nothing wrong in upgrading or downgrading any post for the appointment of a suitable officer. It is a routine practice in government. We considered four to five officers from the 1980 to 1983 batches, including Vijay Kamble (1980), KK Pathak (1983), Datta Padsalgikar (1982) and Meeran Boravankar (1981) and found Ahmed best suited for the post. His nearing superannuation cannot be a reason to not appoint him. We have had instances in which officers with only one month left were appointed to key posts.
Why was Maria not allowed to complete his term?
There is nothing like ‘tenure’ in the service. If we transferred Maria at the end of the month, it would have clashed with the festive season, which begins with Ganeshotsav next week. The new officer should have at least 10 days to take stock of the situation and make preparations, so we decided to bring forward Maria’s promotion. He had asked us for a ‘lighter post’ after his tenure as Mumbai police commissioner.
There are reports that the chief minister was not satisfied with Maria’s clarification on his meeting with Lalit Modi in London, and that this is why he has been transferred.
After Maria submitted his clarification , additional information was sought on it. I forwarded both clarifications to Fadnavis with my notes. I think the CM was satisfied with Maria’s submissions.
What about the other officers awaiting promotions and transfers?
The department promotion committee has completed the screening process and a final decision will be taken by the end of the month.