The ministry of home affairs led by senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Rajnath Singh has revealed that nearly 50% Indian Police Service (IPS) officers in Maharashtra are facing inquiries. This was in response to a question raised by Rajya Sabha (RS) member Avinash Pande (Congress) during the recent Parliament session.
Pande had sought information on the sanctioned strength of IPS in Maharashtra, the number of IPS officers facing disciplinary proceedings and criminal proceedings in court and what steps the government was taking to cleanse the service and retire officers found wanting in the discharge of duty.
Minister of state for home Kiren Rijiju informed the RS that the strength of IPS in Maharashtra stood at 302. “As per information from the state government and information with the ministry, 149 IPS officers are facing inquiries, out of which 82 are facing disciplinary proceedings, 49 are facing criminal proceedings and 18 are facing disciplinary and criminal proceedings,” he said.
Rijiju said disciplinary action is taken under the all-India service (discipline and appeal) rules, 1969, against delinquent IPS officers by the central government, and state government for officers working with it. The rules provide for pre-mature or early retirement of officers on the basis of a review of their service record. “The review is to be carried out by the state government, even in respect of officers on central deputation,” Rijiju said.
A former chief secretary said it was shocking that half of the officers were facing departmental probes, criminal proceedings or both. “Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, who also holds the home portfolio, must cleanse the IPS. Disciplinary and criminal proceedings should be fast-tracked. Guilty officers should be pre-maturely retired as early as possible. If quick steps are not taken, people will lose faith in the law-enforcing agency,” he said.