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On which high moral ground?

Posted in Featured, View Point

Published on April 14, 2021 with No Comments

Indian police force was always a force to reckon with .  Having produced officer with high integrity  just to name a few Hemant Karkare., Ashok Kamte, Vijay Salaskar, Ajit Kumar Doval. The force has had  a formidable reputation for its professionalism and integrity.

It has been over a month since the former Mumbai Commissioner of Police Param Bir Singh fired the first shot against his own Home Minister, and then latter went to the court. Though, the honorable court has now called for a investigation by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) leading to the resignation of the Home Minister of Maharashtra.  Anil Deshmukh member of the NCP in the three party ruling alliance with Shiv Sena and Congress, resigned hours after the Bombay High Court ordered the CBI to hold preliminary enquiry into former Mumbai police chief Param Bir Singh’s allegations against Deshmukh running an extortion wing.  Singh in his petition had earlier alleged that Deshmukh was pressuring cops, including disgraced Sanjay Waze, to collect Rs 100 crore monthly extortion charges from bars and restaurants.

Parambir Singh has got a shot in his arm but the timing of his allegations seems to be inappropriate. However, the political developments that have followed seem to indicate a larger conspiracy at work. He could have written to the Chief Minister, the Home Secretary or the Chief Secretary before his transfer, and that would have added to his creditability.  However, he would have done wonders had he written on the very day that the Home Minister is alleged to have instructed him and his subordinates to indulge in illegal acts.  Since he didn’t, now leads to questions that perhaps he was party to whatever was happening, or there is a larger political move where the Mumbai Police Chief may turn out to be a pawn! He was the chief of the police force and the responsibility was his. Having failed to lodge a complaint, Mumbai Police Chief compromised his moral position  and that he chose to lodge a protest only after his transfer further diminished credibility.

For a person of the stature of Parambir Singh,  shocking part is that there has no reaction from the IPS associations at the centre or state.  Similarly, the NGOs and various other civil society groups have kept quiet. The silence of retired officers, especially those based in Mumbai, is intriguing, to say the least.

All the same, the case is classic example of nexus between politicians and the police. The present police system in India has been suffering  ever since entry of the politician into the bureaucratic system.  This came with the havoc in the day to day administration.  The politician realized that the recruitment and transfers are his best tool to power and to make easy money.  And the officers too realized the prospect of cooperating with the politicians and soon the system became too intermingled to even care for the common man. This gave rise to the black economy; smugglers, criminal underworld, with its various gangs and lobbies soon started enjoying the police protection. The political-criminal-police nexus was born, with police officers vying for prized postings, and the same continues to thrive even now.  

The Centre starting making use of CBI into serious cases in which it had political or business interest. This led to weakening of the state police and a fall in its professional standards. The CBI experiment has proved to be a success for the interests of the Centre and today the Ministry of Home Affairs  is using the CBI, NIA, ED, IRS, Customs and Excise, Narcotics Bureau, etc.

Parambir Singh is just a part of the system and his approach in the case is full of question.


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