Mumbai Police has asked all police stations to keep a record of all the items seized as material evidence. Hemant Nagrale, Mumbai police commissioner, has recently instructed officials from police inspector to deputy commissioner of police to keep a tab on it.
The circular released by the police commissioner on July 6, states it has come to notice that the seized material keeps increasing and has been kept near the police stations without touching or checking for years. "It includes material seized during any serious case or vehicles seized in any theft case or any abandoned vehicle. Such materials should be checked on a frequent basis and a record should be maintained about the same," states the circular explaining an incident that happened in Vakola, where the material seized in a case went missing. Taking it serious note of it, the senior officials came up with an idea to keep it safe "as such material going missing is just to lose the integrity among the public in general and create a negative image among the public," the circular added.
The police inspector handling administration of every police station will keep a register and maintain a record every month and check the material is in place. Also, the senior police inspector should check the register and material every month. “Similarly, the assistant commissioner of police of the division should check it every three months and the Deputy Commissioner of police visit and keep a tab every six months," states the instruction issued.
A senior official from Mumbai police said, "It's a good initiative to keep a record of the seized material. Many times, the seized material is kept for years at the same place and no one is ready to touch it till they have need for it. In many cases the officers get transferred in a year to two, further the newly joined officer has much idea about it. The authorities should see that there should be a proper arrangement made to keep such material. As many times it is found in an open place outside the police. Who keeps a check, as every other person has his own work. The dedicated officer appointed for the task will bring a change in the system," said the official.