MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court has asked Maharashtra Government to make its State Complaints Authority functional within a month in view of petitions alleging lack of redressal of complaints against police officers.
The order was passed early this week by a bench of Justice Dr Shalini Phansalkar Joshi and Justice Ranjit More, which also directed the state government to take positive steps to constitute divisional complaint authorities.
The entire exercise should be completed by March 20, said the bench while hearing a petition filed by Bommer Limbadri Vithal who argued in person. "It is to be noted that time and again, time was sought by the State (government) to make the State Complaint Authority functional. We have granted such liberty. However, it is duty of the government to comply with the orders of the court without any further delay," the bench observed.
The petitioner submitted that inspite of the orders passed by the high court, the State Complaints Authority could not be made functional. Additional Public Prosecutor M M Deshmukh submitted that the Business Rules framed by the Committee have been given to the government on February 5, 2017, and sought two seeks time to take necessary action in this regard.
As far as the Divisional level Police Complaints Authority is concerned, the prosecutor said the proposal for appointment of Chairman and other members is pending before the government and the willingness of employees to work on deputation with these divisional authorities is being sought. The prosecutor told the court that some time is required to constitute divisional complaint authorities.
The bench noted, "We hope and trust that before the next date, government shall approve the Business Rules and make the State Complaint Authority functional. We also direct the State to take positive steps to constitute divisional complaint authorities." The court was earlier informed that the State Police Complaints Authority had been constituted and would be functional by April-end, while formation of such authorities at the district level would take time.