Activists in the city are ready to challenge the notification issued by the office of the state director general of police on November 18, instructing police stations across the state not to make note of calls or visits of legislators or ministers in station diaries.
Bhagvanji Raiyani, a Right to Information (RTI) activist, has sent a letter to chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, home minister RR Patil, and director general of police D Sivanandhan asking them to withdraw the illegal notification.
“I will file a public interest litigations in the Bombay high court if I don't get a positive response from the officials," said Raiyani.
“This notification is against public interest and it will create a chaos in the society.”
Raiyani has quoted in the letter that the notification to the police is a violation of Article 19 of the constitution that states the fundamental rights as
well as the RTI Act passed in 2005.
Anil Galgali, an activist who runs Mahiti Adhikar Manch, said, “The records have to be maintained because that is the only proof of the communication between the police and politicians. At least through RTI Act we should be able to question it.”
Opposition parties, however, have mixed views about the issue.
While the Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) opposed the notification, the Shiv Sena and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are supporting it.
MNS leader and the member of legislature Nitin Sardesai said: “It is normally seen that politicians tend to use their clout to exert pressure on the police. This order is passed to protect the ruling parties.”
However, BJP senior leader Eknath Khadse claimed the notification would ensure that the police don’t misuse any information. “But, if any politician calls for an illegal matter then it should be recorded,” he added.
Sena member of Parliament Sanjay Raut said this decision by Patil was supported in the legislative assembly.
“We will not oppose it for the sake of it. Maintaining a record of politicians’ calls and sending them to court as proof is not acceptable. Chief ministers and ministers might even call for a good cause but its not noted,” he said.