In 2002, Dattaguru Sawant along with 30 other candidates was selected for the post of Police Sub-Inspector (PSI) by the then Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar. These appointments were challenged in the High Court by another candidate for the PSI post Tanvir Khatib who alleged that Sawant did not meet the requisite criteria to be appointed for the post. In fact to be precise the affidavit filed by Khatib states that Sawant does not meet the height criteria specified for the selection of a PSI.
The High Court in 2004 set aside the decision to appoint these PSI appointments as it felt that it was reeling with political interference, illegality and undue to select political appointees over meritorious candidates.
This matter was subsequently appealed in the Supreme Court which stayed the High Court Order and is still up for final hearing.
In 2005, the Pratapsingh Rane’s government referred this matter to the Law Department to study the implications of the High Court Order and study the chances of government winning the appeal in the Supreme Court. The Law Department had directed the government to withdraw the appeal as it was totally a political and malafide selection. The then government withdrew the appeal in the Supreme Court in the year 2006.
The present matter posted in the Supreme Court is between Dattaguru Sawant & 30 others V/S Tanveer Khatib.
In the year 2011, the Digamber Kamat led Government in which Ravi Naik was the Home minister who also happened to be a Deputy chief Minister in the year 2002 in the Manohar Parrikar led BJP Government had certain of its own interests, promoted the 5 of the 31 PSI to PI on the grounds placed before the Supreme Court of collapse of Law and Order in the state and it necessitated such promotions.
Sawant, sources reveal was a BJP sympathizer prior to his appointment and actively participated in its movements and rallies. It’s a known fact that Dattaguru Sawant was the one instrumental in blackening the face of the Registrar of the Goa University in the year. Prior to his appointment Dattaguru Sawant was collecting Toll Tariff on the Kadamba Bus Stand and was allegedly involved in various petty issues.
Once appointed as a PSI even when the issue was in the High Court the 2002 Government hurriedly send these candidates for training taking affidavits of non compensation so that any future negative judgment takes place and can take stand that they have completed their training.
In the year 2004-05 Dattaguru on duty assaulted a poor Rajasthani Mithai Shop Vendor in Mapusa Municipal Market when he refused to pay hafta. The assault was so bad that the poor guy was referred to GMC for an ear check up.
An inquiry was conducted in this matter but that matter was hushed up.
“Few of us took the matter before the than Governor S C Jamir who directed the government to conduct and inquiry,” expressed Khatib.
Post it Sawant was dismissed from service as any misconduct by a probationary officer.
Sawant on technical ground of not being allowed a opportunity to a fair hearing and trail was reinstated under political pressure and placed under suspension. Subsequently, given a plum posting.
GoaChronicle.com raises the following questions on this issue:
1. How can illegally selected candidates subject to further promotions when their appointment are not even confirmed?
2. When the Government who is the appointing authority of PSI have already withdrawn its appeal in the Supreme Court which inter alia means that they have accepted the High Court judgement, than how can this so called officers continue to remain in police duty?
3. As per recruitment rules for PSI to be promoted as Police Inspectors they required to be confirmed as PSI for minimum period of 5 yrs, when their appointment is only quashed how can such an illegal promotions take place?
And if these points were kept in check and adhered too, the incident of assault against Vincent Fernandes would not have happened.
If police officers are appointed and transferred according to political preference. Are we as citizens of this state expected to get a desirable law and order situation?