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Maharashtra ignores Gafoor, appoints his junior as DGP
Tuesday, June 01, 2010 10:57:05 AM, Agencies
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Mumbai: Till yesterday Hasan Gafoor was being hinted by none other than state Chief Minister Ashok Chavan as the front runner for the Maharashtra DGP post. The government, however, sprang a surprise on Monday by appointing Mumbai police commissioner D Sivanandhan as State Director General of Police (DGP).
Significantly, the 59-yearold Sivanandhan, who is an IPS officer of the 1976 batch, is two years junior to Gafoor in the service. 26/11 remarks may have sealed Gafoor’s fate
While Hasan Gafoor has not responded publicly to Sivanandhan’s appointment as DGP, reports say that he expressed strong displeasure. Following which the government reportedly quickly offered him an assignment with the Maharashtra Public Service Commission (MPSC), an IPS post lying vacant since December.
Gafoor, however, is said to have politely turned down the offer, saying he will decide at the appropriate time on whether to continue in the IPS or not.
Sivanandhan’s appointment was finalised after a meeting between Chavan and home minister R R Patil.
As per the directive of the Bombay HC, a fortnight ago, a committee headed by chief secretary J P Dange had submitted its recommendations to Chavan, earmarking three likely candidates, Gafoor, P P Srivastava and Sivanandhan.
“Chavan, in consultation with the home minister, appointed Sivanandhan as DGP and Dayal as the new CP of Mumbai,’’ a senior NCP minister said.
According to reports, initially there was a vertical split in the Congress-NCP govt. over the appointment of the DGP and CP.
Gafoor is said to have lost out because of the remarks against him in the Pradhan committee report that probed 26/11 attack. The report had come down heavily on the then Mumbai police commissioner, saying he had failed to provide leadership to his subordinates in an hour of crisis. At that time Chavan and Patil had rejected the charge against Gafoor and later shunted him out on promotion as DG (housing) and later as DG (anti-corruption).
Interestingly, in the past too the Government of Maharashtra had appointed AN Roy as DGP ignoring senior officers - S S Virk, Suprakash Chakravarti and J D Veerkar. It was only when The Bombay High Court set aside the appointment of AN Roy saying, the selection process was "arbitrary", violative of constitutional principle of equality and the Supreme Court's guidelines that the state government appointed SS Virk as DGP.
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