Expressing displeasure over the conduct of the director general of police, K Subramaniam, the Bombay high court on Wednesday said, “The entire Maharashtra administration seems to have turned against senior police officer Harish Baijal overnight.”
The division bench of justice BH Marlapalle and justice Nishita Mhatre rapped the DGP for issuing a harsh letter, which damaged Baijal’s reputation, without collecting inputs from other officers.
Baijal, who worked at Nasik as superintendent of police, anti-corruption bureau (ACB) was shunted out of the ACB and transferred to Thane as a deputy commissioner of police on the allegations that he tried to interfere with investigations into a graft case.
“We are really shocked with the DGP’s behaviour,” the judges observed, adding, “He first wrote the letter on June 22 and then as an afterthought called upon the junior officer (who is investigating a graft case involving the chief officer of Ahmednagar Municipal Council) to send a report.”
The judges noted it appeared to have been with proper planning. “Any junior officer will have to comply with the DGP’s order,” the judges observed referring to the report forwarded by the officer investigating the graft case.
Baijal had challenged the transfer order before the Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal (MAT). He approached the high court after the MAT confirmed the transfer order on June 24.
While rejecting Baijal’s plea, the MAT had primarily relied on the letter written by Subramaniam, the then director general of ACB, stating several complaints of corruption had been received against Baijal and he should be shifted to a posting that does not require any investigation.
Baijal, on the other hand, contended that on June 21, one of Baijal’s junior officers had arrested a chief officer of the Ahmednagar municipal council while accepting a bribe of Rs45 lakh.
The next day, Subramaniam had summoned Baijal and allegedly threatened and abused him for purportedly planting evidence in the case. The court posted Baijal’s petition for further hearing on Thursday, when final orders are likely to be passed in the matter.