Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan on Wednesday said the complete implementation of the Supreme Court’s recommendation on police reforms was not possible as members of his cabinet felt that some of the directives were encroaching on the rights of the state government.
“It is difficult for us to implement all recommendations made by the SC, especially handing power of transfer to the establishment board. There is no consensus in the cabinet on this issue. If the cabinet does not have power over transfers, it will create problem as for all decisions it is the government that is finally held responsible,” he said during an interaction with journalists in Mumbai.
In 2006, the SC — while hearing a petition of retired chief of the UP Police and BSF Prakash Singh — had given seven directives for all states to implement. The most important was setting up the Police Establishment Board (PEB), which would decide transfers, postings and promotions of officers of and below the rank of DSPs, and would give recommendations over transfer and promotions of officers above the rank of SP.
These boards had been set up by the state in 2008 as well given the power to transfer and promote officers below rank of inspectors and recommend the transfers of officers above the rank of Deputy SPs.
However, these recommendations were not binding on the state and many times the transfers were decided by the political bosses, especially the home minister.
The state government, fearing contempt action by the SC, had promulgated a resolution of setting up these boards again on July 15. However, exactly a month later the government submitted an affidavit to the apex court stating that the implementation of all recommendations would be encroachment on the executive’s function, which could be exercised only by the governor on the aid and advice of the council of ministers headed by the CM.