Political interference in transfers and postings of police officers would be allowed only in exceptional cases as it is mandatory for the state to obey the decisions taken by the Police Establishment Board (PEB), the Bombay high court (HC) clarified on Monday.
The court was hearing a petition filed by police inspector Bhausaheb Andhalkar, who had challenged the January 25-order through which he was transferred from Pune to Amravati. According to Andhalkar, he faced several transfers and suspensions in the recent past, allegedly due to political pressure. He moved the HC after the Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal dismissed his plea.
Uday Warunjikar, counsel for Andhalkar, argued against a provision in the general resolution (GR) passed on July 25, which states that decisions of the PEB are subject to the provisions of the Maharashtra Transfers Act. This is in contrary to the apex court’s directives, he added.
“The PEB’s decision on transfers comes into effect only after it is placed before the competent authority, as per the Transfers Act. It is mandatory for the state government to respect the decision of the PEB,” the division bench of justice BH Marlapalle and Justice Nishita Mhatre observed.
The high court rejected the plea on the grounds that the police inspector had expressed willingness to shift to any other place during routine annual transfers.