The Bangalore Bench of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) on Friday quashed the transfer of Bangalore Metropolitan Task Force (BMTF) chief R P Sharma by stating that amendments to the Police Act, did not in anyway, involve an officer of Sharma’s rank (ADGP).
Quashing Sharma’s transfer order, K B Suresh, Judicial Member of CAT, directed the State Government to allow him to continue as BMTF chief till the end of his tenure. He further stated that the Government must extend all possible assistance to the BMTF in order to bring errant officials to account.
The CAT told Sharma that immediate investigation of violations should be his priority. Suresh, in a 72-page observation of the entire episode, has also dealt with the argument of the State Government that the ‘transgressor’ himself cannot be allowed to be a judge of transgression.
Sharma was under a cloud of allegations that he had steamrolled the Doddagubbi Grama Panchayat into giving building permission for a house instead of taking permission from the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA).
“The amendments to the Police Act cannot, in any way, concern the applicant since it does not cover a police officer of the rank of ADGP and till the Prakash Singh order is settled, the term shall be two years. Any infringement will be an act of contempt against the Supreme Court,” Suresh said before quashing the order. Suresh also said that extension of tenure for Sharma, if required, can also be considered. Sharma had recently come under criticism for ordering investigations into the functioning of the BBMP officials filing charge-sheets against them for lapses.
Later, BBMP employees had gone on a strike against his action. Subsequently, the State Government had transferred Sharma. However, he had approached the CAT challenging his transfer.
Bid to silence whistleblowers: Hegde
Former Lokayukta N Santosh Hegde on Friday said that citizens have started to realise the games being played by people at the helm of affairs. Speaking on the sidelines of a programme, he said the the transfer of BMTF chief R P Sharma was an ‘attempt to silence whistleblowers’.
“The people will not kee p quiet anymore,” he warned. Earlier, he participated in a lecture series on ‘The Power of Inspiration’, an initiative by Aircel aimed at the youths and to initiate discussion on burning issues and effecting social change. He said, “The longevity and the impact of the mining operations on the earth also have to be kept in mind before getting down to mining. Its pros and cons have to be weighed. Greedy mining is uncalled for.”