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SC heat on security panel

india Updated: Mar 17, 2009 02:00 IST
Presley Thomas
Presley Thomas
Hindustan Times
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While hearing a petition on police reforms, the Supreme Court had directed all states to form security councils on the recommendations of the committees formed under either the National Human Rights Commission, former Mumbai police chief Julio Ribeiro or former solicitor-general of India Soli Sorabjee.

However, the 66-member Maharashtra Security Council is almost six times the size recommended by each of the three committees.

The 26/11 terror attack in Mumbai had prompted the state government to set up a security council, comprising 13 politicians, 17 bureaucrats and 36 former bureaucrats and citizens.

Last week the jumbo-sized Maharashtra Security Council had also evoked indictment from the Bombay High Court. “It [the council] is a joke,” a division bench comprising Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud had observed.

Prakash Singh, a former IPS officer and Padmashri recipient, on whose petition seeking police reforms the Supreme Court had directed the formation of security councils in each state in 2006, too called ‘the council a joke’.

“A security council so disparate and heterogeneous will never achieve anything. The Maharashtra government is… trying to make a fool of everyone,” said Singh.

Ribeiro, under whom one of the committees submitted their recommendations for police reforms to the Supreme Court, said: “The security council should have a maximum of seven or eight persons. The council that has been put out by the Maharashtra government clearly shows that they are not willing to comply.”

“Even bureaucrats in Maharashtra are not in favour of such a security council because it would hamper their political liaisons, especially when posting comes into play,” he added.