Nagpur: The Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court has ruled that Police Patils, who perform minor policing duties in villages, cannot contest civic elections.
"Taking into consideration the settled position of law, it is clear that respondent Police Patil of village Wasi was holder of civil post and was prohibited to take any active participation in politics and election," the division bench of Justices Bhushan Dharmadhikari and Prasanna Varale ruled last week.
The bench upheld Umrer Sub Divisional Magistrate`s 1994 order, removing Raut from the post of Police Patil.
Shriram Bhoyar, a resident of Bhiwapur tehsil in Nagpur district, had objected to Raut`s participation in the political activities and also his decision to contest the polls of Wasi Sahakari Sanstha as a sponsored candidate of a political party. Raut was also alleged to have actively participated in canvassing for his brother.
After the petitioner took up the issue with Sub Divisional Magistrate, Raut admitted that he had contested the election and got elected, but contended there was no prohibition to it.
The SDM, however, ruled that being a Police Patil he could not contest an election and directed Patil`s removal from the service on December 15, 1994.
Additional Divisional Commissioner in Nagpur reversed SDM`s ruling in 1995, after which Bhoyar filed appeal in the High Court.
Citing the Maharashtra Village Police Patil Act, 1967, Justices Dharmadhikari and Varale remarked that Additional Divisional Commissioner had "lost the sight of the facts".
Quoting a Supreme Court judgement, the judges stated that the policy of law is to keep government servants away from politics.