It is unfortunate that despite the 26/11 attacks and a few other bomb blasts, the weapons policy has not been reviewed by Maharashtra government, the Bombay high court (HC) said on Tuesday.
The weapons policy, which was framed in 2010, mentioned it would be reviewed every three years. “Even after 26/11, you did not feel it necessary to lay down a new weapons policy,” the division bench of justice VM Kanade and justice Anuja Prabhudessai asked, while hearing a petition filed by Pune resident Ashwini Rane, which questioned the investigation skills of the local police.
“We expect that a select committee will be constituted, so the process of reviewing the weapons policy is undertaken and completed expeditiously and the police force is enabled to meet the new challenges,” the judges said in their order.
They also expressed displeasure over the petty perks and allowances being offered to the police personnel, especially the members of the constabulary. The judges were irked after the counsel for the petitioner, senior advocate Anil Anturkar, pointed out that the policemen were being paid fitness incentive of Rs 250 a month – roughly Rs 8 per day -- and a dietary allowance of Rs 750 a day – barely Rs 25 a day.
The judges said almost every day they pass some order criticizing the police personnel. “But if the state government is not taking care of them, how do you expect anything in return from them,” the judges said.
Rane’s petition questioned the investigation skills of the police, as they are yet to get leads in the murder of her husband Nikhil in 2009.
The bench has now posted the matter for hearing after two weeks, with a direction to public prosecutor Sandip Shinde to file a comprehensive affidavit disclosing when the select committee to review the weapons policy would be constituted.
* Ashwini Rane’s husband Nikhil was murdered by unidentified assailants on November 23, 2009, outside his office in Pune
* None of the agencies that investigated the case– the local police, Pune crime branch, state CID and even the CBI – could get leads
* Rane approached the high court in June 2010
* Acting on her petition, the high court initially transferred the matter to the state CID and later to CBI, but these agencies, too, could not crack the case.