As cases of crime involving security guards in the city rise, the state government is thinking of making it mandatory for agencies to hire only those who have been living in Maharashtra for 15 years or more.
Sources in the state home department said that the state may ask security agencies to insist on a domicile certificates while taking job applications.
At present, aspirants need to submit only identity proofs and character certificates.
Sources said the move has been in the works since the brutal murder of 25-year-old lawyer Pallavi Purkhayastha last year, allegedly by her security guard Sajjad Moughal. The police probe revealed Moughal had been employed by an unlicensed agency, and without the mandatory background check. Moughal, who hails from Jammu and Kashmir, was about to flee to his native place when the crime branch arrested him.
The incident prompted a review of all criminal cases involving security guards, during which it was found that police found it difficult to track down accused who fled the state, and that often, the ID proof produced by them from their hometown was inadequate, or fudged. Keeping this in mind, sources said, the state decided come up with the domicile rule.
“This will not only make character verification of such persons easy, as they are domiciles of the state, but also help trace them through friends and relatives, if they’re absconding,” said a source.
RTI activist Manoranjan Roy welcomed the idea. “A person who has lived in the state for 15 years will think twice before committing a crime, because information about him would be easy to access. He will also have fewer places to hide in, compared to someone from outside the state.”
However, Gurucharan Singh Chauhan, president, Security Association of India, strongly opposed the move. “This violates the Fundament Rights. How can someone be denied employment on grounds of not being a domicile of the state, even if he does not have a criminal past?”
38 security agencies found flouting norms
mumbai: After the Pallavi Purkhayastha murder, involving the security guard, last year, the police had started a review of private security agencies in the city.
The discovery that the security agency which employed the accused was running without the required licence prompted a crackdown on agencies across the city, during which police suspended the licences of 7 agencies and cancelled that of another. A scrutiny of the 355 licenced agencies also revealed that 38 of those were either flouting hiring norms or had not imparted adequate training to guards.
The police then initiated action against these agencies, Hemant Nagrale, joint commissioner of police, administration, told HT.
But the recent assault and robbery of Juhu-based beautician Sonal Shah, allegedly plotted by her security guard, highlights gaping holes in the process of recruiting guards.
RTI activist Manoranjan Roy alleged that unlicensced agencies are operating with the knowledge of local police. “How is it possible for unlicensced agencies to run if the police does not turn a blind eye to them?” he asked.
Gurucharan Singh Chouhan, national president of the security association of India, blamed the police. “The police lack the adequate infrastructure to conduct character verification of lakhs of aspirants. It takes months to complete the procedure and by then, the person loses the job. This encourages the tendency of bypassing the law,” he said.
Chouhan suggested the government expedite the process of verifying ID proof or character certificates of aspirants.