Under mounting pressure to prevent the recurrence of gruesome incidents like the Malegaon additional district collector Yashwant Sonawane being burnt alive on duty, the government is considering a plan to provide police-like powers to the departments and officials engaged in such raids.
The law ministry is examining reports of the committee headed by the former home secretary K Padmanabhaiah on police reforms and of the second administrative reforms panel on public order to bring the change.
“I think we need to do it in a big way. Honest officials trying to prevent corruption cannot be allowed to suffer. In the present case the organised oil mafia executed a planned murder of Mr Sonawane,” law minister M Verappa Moily told HT.
The ministry proposes to recommend that investigation of offences under the Motor Vehicles Act, Forest Conservation Act, Essential Commodities Act, the Electricity Act and other related laws should be conducted by senior officers of the concerned departments under proper security cover.
A ministry official said since the police was busy with the issues arising out of general law and order problems, specific offences committed under special acts, need to be checked with a fresh strategy.
“The power to investigate such offences need to be given to concerned departments aided by the local bodies. This would reduce the burden of the local police...,” the official said.