By OnlineRTI Staff Crucial Inputs: Adv Prasad Vaidya, OnlineRTI
An RTI application reveals that the State Government of Maharashtra failed to constitute a Police Complaint Authority (PCA) at the State and District level.
According to the RTI reply received by an RTI activist, Jeetendra Ghadge, the Maharashtra government has failed to form the Police Complaint Authority at the District level, whereas even after the formation of the Police Complaint Authority at State level it is functional without any office.
The RTI activist, in September filed an RTI to know the information related to the current status, implementation of the authority and name of the officials in the PCA at State and District level. While, the Public Information Officer (PIO) replied with the names of the authority appointed at the State Level and also stated that the Government is yet to appoint an authority at the District level.
The Supreme Court of India directed to form the PCA under Article 32 while deciding the judgment of a WRIT petition in the year 2006.The judgment was decided based on the National Police Commission set up at the National level to study an in-depth role and performance of the police as a law enforcing agency and as an institution to protect the rights of the citizens. The SC directed all States to constitute at the State and District levels a Police Complaint Authority to redress grievance of citizens about the abuse of powers by the police.
The Government of Maharashtra in July 2008, passed a circular to form the PCA in the State till the time a new changes are made in the Bombay Police Act, 1951 or in the rules directed by the SC. The PCA at State level will look into matters against senior level officers like IPS, whereas the PCA at District level will look into complaints of junior level officers.
Maharashtra Government has constituted a committee under Chairmanship of Justice A.V. Potdar in 2014 but, has not allotted space for Office of the Committee since its inception. The committee is only on paper and in practice it is not functioning. The Director General of Police has to take care of allotment of space for office and also for necessary infrastructure of the said committee, but he has not taken any efforts for the same. This is a clear contempt of the Supreme Court order.