“Overhaul The Maharashtra Police (Amendment and Continuance) Act 2014- PRESS CONFERENCE COVERAGE
In Asian Age, 26 February 2015
‘Overhaul police reform Act’
Three different groups fighting for police reforms in Maharashtra expressed their anguish against the Maharashta Police (Amendment and Continuance) Act, 2014 asking for a redrafting of the law. At Press Club on Wednesday, the groups alleged that the law was passed without public consultation and it provided for unjustified political control over the police and made the police department unaccountable before the public.
The three groups, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), NAGAR and Police Reforms Watch, are represented by Saurav Datta, Gerson Da Cunha and Dolphy D’ Souza, respectively. One of the speakers, lawyer and activist Vijay Hiremath also supported a complete overhaul of the Act.
According to the speakers at the Press Club, some of the major issues are the composition of Police Compliant Authority (PCA), the number of persons on State Security Commission (SSC), separation of law and order from investigations, DGP’s tenure, political interference in transfers and promotions in police force.
Mr Datta said, “Last year we found out that the home department led by NCP had interfered in over 90 per cent of the decisions on promotions, postings and transfers made by the Police Establishment Board.” “There are two police officers on the PCA. We believe there should not be anyone from the police force in the PCA as the complaints made here are against the police,” added Mr D’Souza. The groups want fixed tenure for the DGP. They want separation of law and order from investigation and an elaborate training process for those entrusted with the work of investigation.
Mr Hiremath said, “The Act does not talk about serious issues like better salaries, living and working conditions of policemen and ensuring women in the force are not sexually harassed and other sanitary issues.”