HC to hear on Feb 21 PIL on appointment of top cop for Mumbai

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The Bombay High Court decided to hear on February 21 a public interest litigation seeking immediate appointment of the new Police Commissioner for Mumbai, following the exit of IPS officer Satyapal Singh.

Petitioner Ketan Tirodkar, a former journalist, mentioned the petition before the division bench headed by Justice S J Vajifdar.

The petition contends that morale of the police force was down as the Commissioner’s post was lying vacant since February 1 after Singh, who wanted to join the politics, took voluntary retirement.

Tirodkar has referred to media reports suggesting that that the appointment has got entangled in the feud between the ruling coalition partners Congress and NCP, both of which are trying to push their own candidates. “If such appointments are made for political considerations, then the people will have to pay a heavy price,” the PIL says.

It also seeks an explanation from the state government for dropping a post of Director General of Police in 2012-13 and allowing Satyapal Singh to continue as Mumbai Police Commissioner while denying him promotion as a DGP.

It also seeks a direction to the government to submit minutes of meetings held since January 31 to pick the new city police chief and furnish list of ‘eligible candidates’.