35 suspended cops reinstated, some after 14 years

India on 24 April 2014
Location : Mumbai, Maharashtra, India | Source : Mumbai Mirror; image source: Mumbai Mirror

Thirty-five officers and staff of the Mumbai police, who had been under suspension for periods ranging between 5 to 14 years and then forgotten, have been reinstated after Commissioner Rakesh Maria reviewed the force's manpower recently.

Though the rules specify that a decision on disciplinary action must be taken within six months after a policeman is suspended, the cases of these 35 officers had been pending for years, with no senior officer bothering to review them.

As a result, while they continued to draw 75 per cent salary per month, their services were not utilised. Sources said 194 officers and staff were currently under suspension, but only 35 had reinstated immediately as there appeared to be no case against them.

"We reviewed these cases and decided to revoke their suspensions immediately. They have been asked to report for duty," Rakesh Maria told Mumbai Mirror.

According to sources, a government directive on dealing with suspension issues released in 2011 states that if a charge sheet against a policeman is pending for more than 2 years, suspension should be reviewed. In non-serious cases, the suspended officer should be reinstated and posted in non-executive departments.

However, the directive was hardly followed in these 194 cases, in which a majority face minor charges like domestic quarrels and creating a scene in a public place. Constable Rajan Salve, earlier attached to Kalachowkie police station, was placed under suspension in August last year for a flimsy reason. He was on field duty when he needed to go to the washroom. He requested a biker to drop him to the police station and was riding pillion when a speeding car hit the bike and disappeared. Salve was thrown off the vehicle and sustained injuries, but was suspended by his superiors for failing to recollect the car's registration number.

Twelve constables were till now under suspension for suddenly taking leave during the Ganpati festival last year. For close to 10 months, their suspension was neither revoked, nor was any punishment awarded.

Police officer D S Nimbalkar, who was booked in a forgery case 14 years ago, was acquitted by a court six months ago. Senior officers did not conduct a department inquiry before he was acquitted on grounds that he was under trail. Ironically, they started the department inquiry after he was acquitted.

Similarly, PSI Vaibhav Patil (Malvani) and PSI Shakeel Pathan (central region), who were booked by the ACB in graft cases, have been acquitted but continue to remain under suspension.

"Senior police officers need to take decisions fast. If they think the policemen under suspension have committed serious crimes, they should sack them immediately rather than keeping them away from duty for such a long period," said a senior police officer.


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