Thirty-five serving and retired Indian Police Service (IPS) officers owe the Maharashtra government at least 3.82 crore rupees for staying in government accommodation after being transferred from these posts.
The roster of such officers includes two former Mumbai police commissioners, one of whom is also a two-time BJP MP.
There are four active police commissioners on the list, as well as two additional directors general and a former director general of police.
Under the rules, IPS officers who are transferred out of a post must leave their official accommodation for their successor at the post within a specified time limit, failing which they are liable to a fine.
Fines payable by these agents, according to information obtained by The Indian Express under the Right to Information Act (RTI), have been calculated until the end of March 2021.
Most of these officers remained in the houses assigned to them when they were posted to Mumbai, according to responses from the Maharashtra Interior Ministry to RTI’s request.
The seven main defaulters on the list owe the government more than Rs 20 lakh each, according to RTI’s responses.
The larger sum is owed by Sanjay Kumar Baviskar, DIG, State Reserve Police Force in Pune. He was fined Rs 75.77 lakh for continuing to occupy a 1,046 square foot apartment in Mumbai until October 2020, even though he was transferred in mid-2011.
When asked for comment, Baviskar declined, saying it was a personal matter.
Deputy Police Commissioner (DCP) Dr Mahesh Patil in the Crime Division Mira Bhayandar Vasai Virar Commissionerate owes the government Rs 33.77 lakh for staying in a 1,000 square foot apartment in Mumbai until June 2019, although he was transferred from DCP (Zone V) post, Mumbai, as Police Superintendent, Thane (Rural), in May 2016.
Patil said his son was studying in class 10, because of which he was unable to leave the apartment. He did not specify in what year this happened. âFrom Mumbai, I was assigned to departments that don’t offer accommodation,â Patil said.
Retired IPS officers Surinder Kumar and Dhananjay Kamlakar owe Rs 25.78 lakh and Rs 22.82 lakh respectively to the government.
SP (Anti Corruption Bureau) Punjabrao Ugale owes Rs 20.77 lakh, and retired IPS agent Bipin Bihari, Rs 20.29 lakh, according to information obtained under the RTI Act.
Asked for comment, Kumar said, âThere is a miscalculation. I had kept the accommodation after obtaining the authorizations from the government.
Kamlakar and Ugale declined to comment.
Bihari said he could not comment as he appealed to the government.
Former Mumbai Police Commissioner Dhananjay Jadhav owed the government Rs 20.16 lakh until March 31. Jadhav, who suffered from heart disease, died on March 30.
Another former Mumbai Police Commissioner Dr Satya Pal Singh was fined Rs 12.94 lakh. Singh won Baghpat’s Lok Sabha election on a BJP ticket in 2014 and 2019.
In a text message, Singh said: âI have never exceeded the length of stay in government quarters. Perhaps it was a mistake on the part of the department that could have been calculated when I was posted outside of Mumbai. I stayed in the police quarters, which were free and not in the general government pool. License fees were removed when Shri RR Patil was Home Secretary. It should be on the Interior Ministry records.
Explaining the process of fines for exceeding the time limit, a government official in Maharashtra said that when an IPS officer is transferred from one police station to another or to a district, he has three months to leave his post. official accommodation, after which the stopwatch begins. tick tock.
âDuring the first three months, the government does not charge anything because it is the time allotted to them to move their families. For the next three months, the government only charges a license fee, âthe official said.
“If, however, an officer does not leave the accommodation even after six months after being relieved of his duties, the government begins to apply penal rent in addition to the license fee,” the official added.
License fees range from Rs 120 to Rs 1,400 per month, depending on the size of the accommodation, the official said. The penal rent is much higher – for government housing of 1,000 square feet, for example, the penal rent is Rs150,000 per month, billed at the rate of Rs150 per square foot.
Special Inspector General of Police, Nanded range, Nisar Tamboli, Government Railway Force (GRP) Commissioner Quaiser Khalid, Solapur Police Commissioner Ankush Shinde and Palghar Police Superintendent Dattatrey Shinde did not yet paid cumulative fines of Rs 16.91 lakh, Rs 15.05 lakh, Rs 11.56 lakh and Rs 8.03 lakh, according to responses to the RTI request.
Tamboli did not respond to calls and messages requesting comment.
Khalid said he was not aware of any charges owed to him.
Ankush Shinde said: “I will have to check this out before commenting.”
Dattatrey Shinde denied that he owed the government money.
Other officers owed to the government, according to the response to RTI’s request, include Additional Director General (Rail) Dr Pradnya Saravade (Rs 8.26 lakh), Special Inspector General of Police (Admin) Brijesh Singh (Rs 6.48 lakh), and Additional Director General (Anti-Corruption Office) Vinaykumar Choubey (Rs 5.05 lakh).
Sarvade declined to comment. Choubey did not respond to calls and messages from The Indian Express.
Singh said, âDuring the time that I stayed too long in a neighborhood in Mumbai, I was transferred to Pune and my daughter was on the 10th level and there is a rule that you can have accommodation if your children pass the Council exams. I quoted this government resolution and appealed to the government.
According to RTI’s responses, Pimpri Chinchwad Police Commissioner Krishna Prakash and Thane Police Commissioner Jaijeet Singh still have to pay cumulative fines of Rs 2.43 lakh and Rs 1.51 lakh respectively.
Prakash said people with disabilities at Pimpri Chinchwad said there was no government quarters assigned for staff of any category, because of which he kept the Mumbai apartment his family is staying in.
âI wrote to the government with a copy of the disabled person’s certificate,â Prakash said.
In a text message, Jaijeet Singh said, âI haven’t received a request note yet. I will definitely pay if I owe any money.
Retired IPS agents Sunil Paraskar and Pratap Dighavkar owe the government Rs 16.71 lakh and Rs 3.93 lakh respectively.
Paraskar said there was a miscalculation and he wrote to the Mumbai Police Commissioner, but has yet to receive a response.
Dighavkar said: âMy wife was also a Senior Class I officer. She was assigned to the post of Deputy Regional Transport Officer. She did not take any accommodation and did not take HRA, so after my transfer to Pune, she occupied the accommodation. I appealed to the government.