NAGPUR, Maharashtra — A social worker from Nagpur, Mohnish Jabalpure, has filed a complaint before the Enforcement Directorate and a petition before the Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court, accusing Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis of “misusing his position” by pushing the state’s 2 lakh strong police force to shift their salary accounts from nationalised banks to Axis Bank.
Fadnavis’s wife Amruta is a vice president at Axis Bank.
HuffPost India spoke to 17 policemen who confirmed that their superior officers directed them to shift their accounts to Axis Bank, a private bank, citing informal “orders from above.”
Jabalpure’s petition includes a May 11, 2017 circular, issued by the then Additional Director General of Police (Administration) Pradnya Sarvade, to buttress his allegation that the police unduly favoured Axis Bank.
The circular, which is in Marathi, states that the Maharashtra police had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Axis Bank which offered a set of benefits for those opting to shift their salary accounts to the bank.
The circular concluded by asking police section heads to either negotiate similar deals with the banks where they had existing accounts, or to move their accounts to Axis Bank or any other bank offering the same benefits.
Senior IPS officer K.Venkatesan, who was the police commissioner of Nagpur city in 2017, said the police rank and file were told about the benefits of switching to Axis Bank, butsaid there was no diktat for policemen to shift accounts; policemen in the state were simply given the option to avail of the supposedly superior benefits offered by Axis Bank.
“The benefits of Axis Bank were shown to all the people,” Venkatesan said. “Not all of them have changed even today. There was and is no compulsion.”
Venkatesan, who is now the police commissioner in Pune, said between...