Maha not implementing GR to appoint police complaints body

Maharashtra Home Secretary has been asked by the Bombay High Court to file an affidavit within three weeks on a petition alleging that a Government Resolution for constituting a Police Complaints Authority to look into police lapses has not been implemented.

A bench headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar asked the Maharashtra Home Secretary on January 23 to file an affidavit in reply to the petition within three weeks.

On September 22, 2006, the Supreme Court had issued directions under Article 32 read with Article 142 of the Constitution for setting up a State Police Complaint Authority and District Police Complaint Authority.

Following this, the state issued a GR to appoint the Police Complaint Authority. However, four years have passed and the GR is not implemented as such a body is not functional, According to the petition.

This showed that the state was not complying with the law laid down by the apex court and the GR was merely an eye wash, the petition contended.

The petitioner, Makarand Mahadik, a city resident, alleged that he had been experiencing non-cooperative and hostile attitude of policemen when it comes to taking cognisance of complaints against influential persons and politicians.

Hence, the appointment of an authority to hear complaints against policemen and politicians was necessary in keeping with the apex court guidelines, he said.

The state government was duty-bound to constitute a Police Complaint Authority, fill up vacancies and provide all infrastructure and facilities for the same, the petition argued.

Non-constituting the Police Complaints Authority was depriving citizens of a vital remedy and increasing social unrest and also putting burden on the courts by encouraging litigations, the petition submitted.