Despite the Wadhwan e-pass issue Maha home minister backs Pune’s new police chief Amitabh Gupta
Gupta, was accused of allowing the businessmen brothers Kapil Wadhawan and Dheeraj Wadhawan to travel from Khandala near Pune to MahabaleshwarUpdated: Sep 21, 2020, 17:40 IST
Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh said newly-appointed Pune police commissioner Amitabh Gupta’s track record has been good even though he was “punished for a misdeed”.
This is in reference to an e-pass issued by Gupta to the Wadhwan brothers in violation of regulations during the Covid-19 lockdown, to enable their travel to Mahabaleshwar.
Gupta, a 1992-batch IPS officer, took charge as Pune’s commissioner of police on Sunday, three days after his appointment was announced.
A former principal secretary (special) at the Home department, Gupta, was accused of allowing the businessmen brothers Kapil Wadhawan and Dheeraj Wadhawan to travel from Khandala near Pune to Mahabaleshwar in Satara district, amid the Covid lockdown.
The Wadhwan brothers have been under the scanner in cases of financial irregularities involving Yes Bank and Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative Bank.
As the news of the brothers travelling to Mahabaleshwar created an uproar, Gupta was sent on leave while a departmental inquiry was initiated against him.
“During the probe, he accepted his mistake. However, Gupta has a good previous track record. At the same time, he has been punished for his act,” said Deshmukh on Sunday while interacting with journalists in Pune.
When asked what exactly was the punishment meted out to the IPS officer, Deshmukh preferred to remain silent.
On the Maratha opposition to initiating the recruitment process for 12,500 posts in the police department, Deshmukh said a legal opinion is being sought on retaining 13 per cent of the posts vacant for the community, until the Supreme Court takes a decision on the matter.
“The process of recruitment in the police department was initiated around two months ago and the cabinet approved it only recently after the Supreme Court verdict. Since the process of recruiting for 12,500 posts will take time and the government does not want anyone to be left out, it is planning to keep 13 per cent of posts vacant and reserved for the Maratha community,” said Deshmukh, responding to the opposition to the beginning of recruitment.
Rajya Sabha MP Sambhaji Raje and leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis have opposed the government’s move to go ahead with the recruitment process and termed it as, “rubbing salt in the wound”.