Mumbai: The state government seems to be least bothered about complaints against the police department. This is because the sole authority that can hear grievances against the police, the State Police Complaint Authority (State PCA), which was established on the Supreme Court's directions, is defunct since January 2.
Result: a complainant against the police has nowhere to go.
The outgoing committee became operational on January 2, 2017, and it has run through its three-year tenure. However the government has not bothered to set up a new committee; nor has it asked the outgoing committee to continue working in the interim until the new one takes over.
With no authority in seat, the number of pending applications has crossed the 500-mark.
The Maharashtra Government had issued a GR to establish the State PCA in 2014; in May 25, 2015, the actual process of staff recruitment began. However, the authority started functioning only on January 1 2017 -- from the MTNL building opposite Cooperage Ground at Fort.
In the last three years, the authority received 1,490 complaints against the police, of which 1,379 were disposed of by the committee; of the latter, 900 complaints were settled and 30 cases were drawn to the Home Minister’s attention.
In four of these, the home ministry asked the Director General of Police (DGP) to take action. Almost 60 to 70 per cent complaints were about non-registration of FIR; the rest were about shoddy investigations.
“We tried to dispose of over 90 per cent cases and the people are now aware that there is such an authority. But, till the new authority takes charge, complainants will have to wait,” said P K Jain, a former State PCA member.
After the incumbent committee’s tenure was over, the Home Ministry initiated the process of appointing the new one; however the process may take long.
The home ministry has sent a letter to the High Court for recommending the name of a retired judge; another letter has gone to the General Administration Department (GAD) and to the DG office for nominating a retired IAS and IPS officer, respectively. An advertisement for the ‘eminent’ citizen-member has also been issued.