The extent of interference of state politicians in transfers of police officials has become evident from the number of recommendations made to the Director General of Police's (DGP) office by various ministries in the two years between January 1, 2009 and January 1, 2011.
A request for information filed by activist Jeetendra Ghadge under the Right to Information Act (RTI) reveals that as many as 231 requests for transfer of police personnel were made by the chief minister, home minister and legislators. Of these, 54 recommendations were approved by the DGP's office. Most of these came from the home department.
Confirming the increase in interference of politicos in transfers of officials, retired joint commissioner of police, YC Pawar said, “Interference by politicians largely depends on senior authorities. Between 1970 and 1990, meddling by politicians was not much. However, it increased considerably thereafter.”
In the two years between 2009 and 2011, two additional superintendents of police, 11 deputy superintendents of police, 13 police inspectors and 10 assistant police inspectors were transferred on recommendation made by the home minister's office. Twelve police sub-inspectors were transferred on recommendation from the chief minister's office.
“The DG’s office looks into transfers of posts like the additional superintendent of police, Deputy superintendent of police, police inspectors and personnel below these ranks,” said Ghadge. “The fact that they receive recommendations from the home department indicates that the department wants absolute control of police in Maharashtra, right from a constable to the DGP,” he alleged.
Dr BK Upadhyay, inspector general of police establishment said, “Usually, application for transfer is made along with recommendation of a minister or an MLA. But the recommendation is considered only after evaluating various pros and cons of the application.” Upadhyay added, “A police establishment board, comprising five senior authorities of the DG office, scrutinises the application, and sees if the tenure of the official is complete or not, whether or not it [the recommendation] fits within the rules and regulations, and whether or not it is genuine case. Only then the recommendation is considered.”