Mumbai. In December 2011, the Mumbai police chief Arup Patnaik shunted out 34 clerks from the most lucrative and money making branch in the city police, the licensing department, to replace them with 16 police constables.
The licensing department deals with various kinds of licences, including one to serve liquor in permit rooms, construction no-objection certificates, cyber-cafes, video-parlours, premise licence for disc jockeys, discos, orchestras and theatre, arms licence, hotel licence, performance licence, fire-crackers licence, loudspeaker licence, parking licence and swimming pool licences, all land here for processing.
“It’s mandatory to obtain a police licence for all these works and businesses,” said a police officer.
Patnaik found out that 1,700 files to obtain licences had been hidden or deliberately kept pending since the past three years for reasons unknown. Surprisingly, by February 2012, the pending files had come down to a mere 70. In fact, sources said the step was being cited as a major step to curb corruption in the police department.
The licensing department is now monitored by commissioner and joint commissioner of police (law and order).