In an unusual circular, Mumbai Police Commissioner Arup Patnaik has warned his subordinates not to "interrupt" him when he was in conversation with others and if they continue doing so would invite adverse remarks in their Annual Confidential Report.
The circular has upset his junior officers and lower-rung policemen, who now hesitate to approach the top cop either to discuss any problem or any idea, a senior police officer said.
The circular issued recently by the city police chief says, "The Commissioner of Police has observed that officers interrupt (him) when he is conversing with others or while talking over telephone.
This is against the service decorum and etiquette. When seniors are talking, the juniors should not interrupt unless permitted to speak.
Such repeated interruptions do not indicate officer-like qualities and if repeated, it will be reflected adversely in the Annual Confidential Report of the Officer." Responding to the note, another IPS officer said, "In meetings held soon after taking charge as the Commissioner, Patnaik sir had described himself as "Big Brother" to us and told us to approach him anytime on any idea or problem.
He said he would address our problems. But this is a strange circular." An inspector at a police station said, "This would hit our morale. Such warnings are usually given orally. But it is strange that it has come in writing." Repeated attempts to contact the city top cop failed. However, Deputy Police Commissioner Rajkumar Vhatkar, who is also city police spokesperson, said, "The circular has been misinterpreted."