HEMANT NAGRALE, a 1987-batch IPS officer, was on Thursday given an additional charge as the Director General of Police (DGP), Maharashtra. The Maha Vikas Aghadi government relieved Subodh Jaiswal, a 1985-batch IPS officer, who headed the state police from February 2019, after he was appointed as DG CISF by the central government on December 30.

Though Nagrale (58) has been given an additional charge, he is likely to be formally made the state DGP once the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) panel clears his appointment, as per procedure. Nagrale’s senior, Sanjay Pandey, a 1986-batch officer, was the frontrunner, but was passed over.

Jaiswal handed over the charge to Nagrale on Thursday at the DGP office on the first floor of the state police headquarters in Colaba.

An order issued by the state government on Thursday confirmed that Nagrale had been given the additional charge of the state DGP post as Jaiswal was relieved to go on central deputation.

Nagrale, who had served as the Navi Mumbai police commissioner, played an important part in transporting those injured in the 26/11 terror attacks of Mumbai in 2008 to hospitals. In October 2018, he was elevated to the DG (legal & technical) rank, and was given the responsibility of looking after the forensic science laboratories across the state.

As per Supreme Court guidelines, for the post of DGP, the state government has to send a list of officers of the DG rank to UPSC. A three-member UPSC committee then decides on three names depending on seniority and merit and sends it to the state government for consideration. The government finally decides from the recommended names.

A Home department official said that generally names of officers are sent in advance when the DGP is about to retire. Since in this case, the DGP went on central deputation, the state government is now in the process of sending names of officers to UPSC. Sources said Nagrale’s name is most likely to feature in the list of three the UPSC committee will send to the state. “Just to ensure we are not caught off-guard in case UPSC does not include Nagrale in the panel of three names, he has only been given additional charge. Once his name figures in the list, which it is likely to as he is the second seniormost officer, he will be formally made the DGP,” a Home department official said.

He added that the additional charge will also ensure that there is no fear of litigation by other aspirant officers, who may have felt snubbed by the government.

Earlier when Jaiswal, who had been posted with the Research & Analysis Wing and was also the Mumbai police commissioner, was posted as state DGP, it was believed that officers of the immediately following batches would no longer be in contention to lead the state police as Jaiswal retires in 2022.

However, Jaiswal’s central deputation opened up the field to his immediate junior officers. Jaiswal’s deputation followed months of uneasy relations between him and the state government over the transfer of IPS officers, especially after his refusal to sign off on a set of transfers last year.

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