Friday, April 19, 2024

PIL filed in Bombay High Court for non- functioning of SPCA in Maharashtra: Medha Patkar

The famous social activist Medha Patkar has filed a public interest litigation (PIL) petition in the  Bombay High Court seeking directions to the Maharashtra government for urgently filling up the vacancies in the State Police Complaints Authority (SPCA). She also asked for providing adequate and timely release of funds for the same along with working on website for SPCA.

The PIL seeks directions to remove the anomalies in the pay scale and the remunerations in terms of allowances to chairperson and members of the SPCA.

The plea was made on the order by the  Supreme Court, dated June 25, 2014 in Prakash Singh v. Union Of India case in which the Supreme Court had asked all the States to constitute SPCA and DPCA(Divisional Police Complaints Authority)

Ms.Medha Patkar in her plea filed through advocates Yashodeep Deshmukh and Vinod Sangvikar stated an RTI report mentioning that SPCA is unable to function properly due to the lack of funds and manpower.

The petition draws attention towards the number of complaints by the general public against the ill-functioning and grievances. They also complain of having no established authorities to hear these problems.

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As per the report, there are only 4 functional DPCA as no new appointments have been made to fill the vacancies in the recent past. The lack of DPCAs have deprived the victims from getting fair treatment incase of police atrocity or corruption..

“This in turn has the effect of silencing the poor victims who may not muster resources and courage to approach SPCA at Mumbai being far away, inconvenient,” the petition said.

Medha Patkar in her petition clearly mentioned that out of the total 25 posts, only the chairman and the member-secretary are filled at present.She also said,

“The posts of the remaining members are yet to be filled by the government when about two years have passed from the Chairman assuming the charge” 

Another very important point was highlighted about making publicizing the functions and powers of the SPCA, as it is the duty of the SPCA to make common man aware about such redressal authorities.

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The plea sought the following reliefs:

  • To fill up the all vacant posts at the SPCA in a definite  time frame
  • Fill up all the vacant posts at each of the 6 DPCA, specially the posts of Chairperson and Members on priority basis;
  • Give the salary parity to the post of Chairperson of the SPCA with all consequential directions and extension of benefits
  • To give wide publicity and display the availability SPCA and DPCA for redressal of complaints against the Police officers

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