Senior police inspectors in Maharashtra and Mumbai have refused promotions, citing a range of personal reasons, including family obligations, children’s schooling, and health issues.
However, some suspect that some officers may be declining promotions due to undisclosed sources of income. The Maharashtra Police recently promoted 142 officers to the rank of assistant commissioner of police (ACP), but only 104 accepted the promotion.
This left 38 vacancies, including nine in Mumbai. Sources within the Mumbai police say that the position of senior police inspector (PI) is the most influential within the city, as PIs oversee entire police stations and wield considerable power in their respective areas.
Many officers aspire to hold this position until their retirement. While a promotion to ACP offers a higher salary and pension benefits, the role is now considered a “side-posting.” The undeniable influence associated with the post of senior PI in the city leads most officers to desire this role till at least two to three months before their retirement.
Anil Galgali, an RTI activist, says that the refusal of senior officers to accept promotions is an established practice in cities like Mumbai, Thane, and Navi Mumbai. He suspects that this is primarily due to the presence of undisclosed income owing to their influential positions.
Galgali also notes that the role of an ACP offers minimal authority to control the system, which makes it less desirable to many officers. A senior officer in Maharashtra Police confirmed that some officers have rejected their promotions and that the department is currently looking into the matter.
However, the officer also noted that many of these officers have dedicated their entire careers to serving in Mumbai. He said that their concerns about receiving an ACP posting in areas outside the city and in rural regions, far from their familiar surroundings, are legitimate.
The officers who declined the promotion, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that a significant number of the ACP positions available are in Nagpur and Amravati. They expressed that having dedicated their careers to Mumbai, transitioning to Nagpur as they approach retirement would pose significant challenges.
“Additionally, with our children reaching the final stages of their education, managing two accommodations simultaneously would be strenuous,” said one officer. According to the list provided by the Maharashtra Police, there are 238 vacant posts across the state, with 43 in Nagpur, 36 in Amravati, 36 in Aurangabad, 72 in the Konkan Division, and 30 in Pune.Government regulations and police circulars allow officers to decline promotions.
However, the rules also stipulate that officers who refuse promotions must be transferred to a different post and are not allowed to retain the same position despite rejecting the ACP promotion. Sources have also indicated that some of these officers may be under investigation, rendering them ineligible for the promotion.
“I haven’t declined any promotion, but due to an ongoing internal inquiry related to an old case, I haven’t received the ACP posting orders,” said one officer on the condition of anonymity.