New Delhi: In what may escalate the ongoing political firestorm between the Modi government at the Centre and the Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government, the Centre on Tuesday asked the state government to initiate disciplinary proceedings against Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar for “indiscipline” and violation of services rules.
In a communication to the West Bengal Chief Secretary, The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said that as per the information received by it, Kumar sat on a dharna along with some police officers with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at the Metro Channel in Kolkata, which is prima facie in contravention of the extant provisions of AIS (Conduct) Rules, 1968/AIS (Discipline & Appeal) Rules, 1969.
“In view of the above, the West Bengal government has been requested by MHA to initiate action against the officer and intimate the action taken in this regard,” it said.
The Home Ministry, which is the cadre controlling authority of the Indian Police Service officers, cited Kumar’s “indisciplined behaviour” and violation of service rules for initiating the proceedings.
The latest move by the Centre came hours after the Supreme Court, acting on the contempt petition filed by the CBI in the Saradha chit fund scam case, directed Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar to appear before the CBI for investigation and “faithfully” cooperate with the agency in investigation of cases arising out of the scam probe.
The apex court said Kumar will appear before the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for investigation at Shillong in Meghalaya and no coercive steps, including the arrest of the Kolkata Police chief, will take place during the course of the probe.
After the CBI made a failed attempt to question Kumar in connection with chit fund scam cases, Banerjee began a dharna in Kolkata’s Metro Channel alleging that the agency was being used by the BJP-led central government against the party’s political opponent.
The Home Ministry cited the extant provisions of the Rules 3(1), 5(1) and 7 of the All India Services (Conduct) Rules, 1968, which were reportedly flouted by Kumar.
In its clause by clause, communication, the ministry said every member of the service shall at all times maintain absolute integrity and devotion to duty and shall do nothing which is unbecoming of a member of the service, no member of the service shall be a member of, or be otherwise associated with, any political party or any organisation which takes part in politics, nor shall he take part in, or subscribe in aid of, or assistant in any other manner, any political movement or political party.
The ministry also said no member of the service shall, in any radio broadcast or communication over any public media or in any document published anonymously, pseudonymously or in his own name or in the name of any other person or in any communication to the press or in any public utterance, make any statement of fact or opinion which has the effect of an adverse criticism of any current or recent policy or action of the central government or a state government which is capable of embarrassing the relations between the central government and any state government.
It also said such behaviour is capable of embarrassing the relations between the central government and the government of any foreign state, provided that nothing in this rule shall apply to any statement made or views expressed by a member of the service in his official capacity and in the due performance of the duties assigned to him.