After announcing its decision to withdraw cases against political workers for agitations over social/political causes, Maharashtra has identified 730 such cases in the past four months. They have been forwarded to courts for withdrawal.
A committee, appointed under collectors and police commissioners, was asked to identify and scrutinise the cases [registered before November 1, 2014] that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led state government decided to withdraw.
Also, the decision to extend the cut-off date was taken by the government with the intention of freeing Shiv Sena and BJP workers in cases registered during the election year.
While 2,849 cases have been registered across the state, Thane and Mumbai districts top the chart with 374 and 322 cases, respectively.
Around 200 of the cases in Mumbai have been recommended for withdrawal followed by 80 and 71 in Nashik and Jalgaon districts, respectively. Another 704 cases that have lost relevance have also been identified for withdrawal.
According to sources in the home department, the district administration has been directed to expedite the process of scrutiny. However, cases involving casualties and the loss to the private and public property worth Rs5 lakh or more are not entitled for withdrawal.
The government recommended 44,718 such cases from January 1, 2013, to May 31, 2015. “The cases include the ones registered under section 353 (criminal force against public servant), 379 (theft), 52(recklessness), 114(abetment), 143 (unlawful assembly) of the IPC. The cases in which the conviction is for less than three years and summons was not issued are considered for the withdrawal,” said an official from the department. The cases are withdrawn under section 321 of the IPC.
KP Bakshi, additional chief secretary, said the withdrawals have been recommended as per the government decision.