The state government has agreed to compensate people who have been imprisoned for petty offences that usually invite a fine.
The government has also decided that the compensation will be recovered from the policemen responsible for sending the petty offenders to jail.
The plan is yet to be finalised.
Some of these offences are as frivolous as singing on street, in which case a person can be let off after paying a fine of Rs 100, said Advocate Yug Chaudhary who had been appointed as amicus curie (friend of court).
The cases of illegal detention came to light following a bail plea filed by an accused, Shivaji Gawade-Patil, in February.
The court was told that there were many such accused who were not released even after getting bail as they could not furnish a bond.
The Bombay High Court has directed the government to decide the amount of ‘interim compensation’ by Saturday.
Public Prosecutor in charge, Pandurang Pol, told the court that a meeting was held at Mantralaya last week and the government seemed positive about the compensation.
“Police were more sincere before we achieved Independence. Now they have grown shoddy,” said Justice Patel.
“They feel they are masters and therefore they have [the] right to pick up any citizen and put them behind bars.”
The judges also did not spare the government for its lackadaisical attitude.
“Tell us what you propose to do, apart from conducting meeting, till you come out with a Government Resolution,” said Justice Patel and warned that otherwise they would pass the order on Saturday.