State fails to renew Police Complaint Authority contract

Updated: Jan 09, 2020, 08:30 IST | Vishal Singh | Mumbai

In the year 2014, Maharashtra issued a Government Resolution (GR) to establish the State PCA. On May 25, 2015, some staff was appointed for the State PCA. But it started officially on February 1, 2017 in the MTNL building opposite Cooperage ground

The State PCA's existence seems to be in limbo like the board outside its office
The State PCA's existence seems to be in limbo like the board outside its office

It seems the state government is not serious about listening to people's grievances against the police. The State Police Complaint Authority (State PCA) of Maharashtra, the only body to hear the grievances of people against senior police officers, has not been hearing cases, as the government has not bothered to renew its contract that ended on January 2.

In the year 2014, Maharashtra issued a Government Resolution (GR) to establish the State PCA. On May 25, 2015, some staff was appointed for the State PCA. But it started officially on February 1, 2017 in the MTNL building opposite Cooperage ground.

Committee members quit
A committee was formed for the State PCA comprising a retired judge of the High Court, a retired IPS officer, a retired IAS officer, an ADG Establishment and a law officer. But there was a shortage of staff since its office began. Soon, those appointed to the committee also quit. Retired High Court judge A B Potdar who was on leave for health reasons in March 2019 resigned in August 2019. Former IAS officer Ramarao also quit a year back. After this retired IPS officer P K Jain and civil society member Umakant Mithkar heard the cases.

A State PCA team was also formed to look after the administrative work. The state government had also decided to set up six of the Division Level Police Complaint Authority (DLPCA) at district level. But out of these only two units were established in Pune and Nashik. Under the DLPCA, a complaint could be made regarding personnel from police constable to police inspector.

In the past three years, the State PCA had 1950 complaints lodged with it, out of which 670 were transferred to DLPCA, while 900 complaints were settled etc. Some 30 cases were recommended to the Home Minister, who has the authority to punish guilty officers. The home ministry has asked the DG office to act in four of these complaints. The State PCA still has over 300 applications pending.

Committee member speak
Former State PCA member P K Jain said, "We had a three-year contract with the state government which ended on January 1, 2020. We have not received any further information from the state government yet. We not hearing any cases since January 2."

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