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The Bombay High Court today ordered the Maharashtra government to submit details of the Police Complaint Authority set up at state and district levels and asked as to why they were not yet functional. A division bench of Justice R V More gave the directions while hearing a bunch of pleas alleging lack of an institutional mechanism for redressal of grievances against police officers. The court, on the last hearing, had rapped the state government for its failure in making the Police Complaint Authority functional despite all its infrastructure being in place and the members having been appointed. On the court's direction, the state Home department's principal secretary today appeared before the bench. The court directed the office to submit to it on April 20 details as to when the Police Complaint Authority committees, both at the state and the district levels, were set up, when and how many members were appointed to each committee and what infrastructure has been made available to them. "We also want to know as to why the committees are still not functional.
When a state like Goa can have the committee ready and functional for the past five years, why is Maharashtra lagging behind?" Justice More asked. The court referred to a 2006 order of the Supreme Court which had directed all the state government to set up state and district level authorities to hear complaints against police officers. "The government, by not making the authority functional, is flouting the Supreme Court order and can be held liable for contempt," Justice More said. The state level authority is to look into the complaints against officers of the rank of superintendent of police and above. The district level panels are to resolve grievances against officers up to the rank of deputy superintendent of police.
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