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Press Release – The people of Maharashtra really deserve good policing

 

URGENT PRESS STATEMENT

 

Re: Pious Statements would not suffice, Hon’ble Chief Minister. Tackle the bull in this case ” Maharashtra Police {Amendment and Continuance Act} 2014 ” by the horns as the people of  Maharashtra really  deserve good policing and effective police reforms.

 

Police Reforms Watch, [PRW] and Commonwealth Human Rights’ Initiative [CHRI] commends the Chief Minister Shri Devendra Fadnavis’s statement expressing his commitment to depoliticising Maharashtra’s police force, especially in the areas of transfers and postings. His promise to empower the force for carrying out better investigations also infuses hope.

At the same time, there are the following realities which need to be contended with before the CM can implement his much-vaunted policies :

  1. The Maharashtra Police (Amendment and Continuance) Act, enacted in 2014 entrenches all the ills the Supreme Court came down heavily upon in its judgement on police reforms (Prakash Singh v Union of India [2006]). Instead of eradicating the numerous maladies plaguing the force, it in fact fortifies political interference and its overbearing influence on the state’s police. For instance, it divests the Director General of Police of any real and substantial power in determining appointments, postings and transfers and lets the Chief Minister and Home Minister have the last word. The extent of harm this has caused can be gauged from the Home Department’s disclosure in October this year- that the political executive has used “exceptional circumstances” as reason to sideline the DGP and  dictate police transfers in 147 out of 150 cases.
  2. The Act does not separate Investigation functions from Law and order. Apart from running counter to the Supreme Court’s directives, it also ensures that all investigations shall always remain susceptible to pernicious political interference and control, thereby defeating the ends of justice.

These are only two of the numerous pressing reasons why the new law, enacted by the previous government in June this year, needs to be overhauled in its entirety.

PRW and CHRI reminds the Chief Minister of his statement made in the Assembly on June 13, 2014 when he was an Opposition MLA. Therein, he had trenchantly criticised the new law, and also said that he had moved a private member’s Bill on police reforms, which was pending in the Assembly at that time.

It is imperative for the Chief Minister to walk the talk and tackle the bull – the Maharashtra Police (Amendment and Continuance) Act 2014 – by the horns and ensure that all its provisions which are aimed at defeating the goal of good policing, are repealed forthwith.

warm regards,

Dolphy D’souza

Convenor

Cell: 09820226227

www.policereformswatch.org

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