Maharashtra government has informed Bombay High Court that it has taken effective steps to introduce reforms in the police department, like filling up vacant posts, upgrading forensic labs, providing adequate training and strengthening the investigation system.
The government said that it has taken these steps after the Supreme Court decision in the case of Prakash Singh versus State of Maharashtra and accordingly enacted Police (Amendment and Continuance) Act, which came into force with effect from February 1, 2014.
This Act provides for tenure of the Director General of Police and higher status police officers, the State Security Commission, establishment of the board for the policemen and an authority to look into the complaints and matters in order to avoid influence and pressure, a government affidavit said.
The affidavit was in response to a public interest litigation filed by ‘Association for Aiding Justice’ alleging that the state had not taken any measures to amend the existing guidelines, statutes and regulations in consonance with the Supreme Court directions in case of Prakash Singh.
The PIL alleged that in the light of development in forensic science and other technical education, there is a need to change the work culture in the police organisation by introducing various methods so as to strengthen the ability of policemen.
Responding to the government’s reply, the petition alleged that the recent amendment to the existing Act deals with the organisation of police other than the police working in the metropolitan cities. Therefore, there is disparity between the same cadre of police officers who work in the city and those who work outside such cities, it said.
“If by amendment now proposed or as brought to be in the new amended Act creates such disparity, we are afraid, it becomes service matter which cannot be entertained in a public interest litigation,” said a bench headed by Chief Justice Manjula Chellur in a recent order.
“If any police personnel are aggrieved by such alleged disparity so far as their services and the benefits attached to the service are concerned, they are always at liberty to approach the court in their individual capacity seeking redressal of their grievances,” said the bench while disposing of the petition.
( Source – PTI )