Faced with a slew of cases where parties have alleged shoddy investigation by the police, and asked for the probe to be transferred to other agencies, the Bombay high court has pushed for a mechanism to ensure such complaints are redressed by police themselves.
On Tuesday, a division bench of justice AM Khanwilkar and justice AR Joshi said that over the past three weeks, there had been 31 matters where parties had complained against investigating officers.
Following an earlier direction concerning this issue, the state government brought on record a June 22 circular directing that a 'Grievance Redressal Day' shall be observed once a week in each police station.
The redressal session will be held every Saturday between 10am and 11.30am, and all investigating officers would be present to attend to the grievances of the public.
The session would allow complainants to approach higher authorities such as the superintendent of police at district level or the commissionerate for redressal.
The court observed that the mechanism, if successful, would be a face-saver for the police department. Justice Khanwilkar said it would also help reduce the number of such petitions in court.
"If 75 such cases are redressed, we would have to look into the remaining 25 only," the court said.
The judges directed advocate general Darius Khambata to take the 31 matters that came up over the past three weeks as test cases and file a report by July 18.
"Let us try it out and share our experience… if it is not working out, we can pass appropriate orders," justice Khanwilkar said.
The court observed that such exercises will instil faith in people and such remedies can be cost-effective instead of spending a fortune by approaching the court.
If complainants are not satisfied with this mechanism, they can always approach the judiciary, the bench observed.