The procedure for dismissal of Gujarat cadre Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Sanjiv Bhatt gained momentum after the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government came to power at the Centre last year. Though the Gujarat government wrote to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in March 2013, when Congress’ Sushil Kumar Shinde was the Home Minister, to impose major penalty on Mr. Bhatt, it was only in September 2014, after the NDA had assumed office that the case records were sent to the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) for its advice.
Since the MHA is the cadre controlling authority of IPS officers and UPSC is the appointing authority, it was imperative to seek the constitutional body’s advice on Mr. Bhatt’s dismissal.
The decision was also endorsed by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who is the competent authority on behalf of the President in cases of disciplinary proceedings.
Records show that the MHA sent a letter to the UPSC for the first time on September 1, 2014, nearly 18 months after the Gujarat government’s request first landed on its table.
The MHA sought the Commission’s advice on the “quantum of penalty to be imposed on the charged officer [Mr. Bhatt].”
The UPSC said, “ends of justice would be met if the penalty of removal from service is imposed…”