The controversy surrounding the order issued to police stations to not make a note of calls or visits by legislators or ministers has now reached the Bombay high court.
A public interest litigation (PIL) has been filed by city Janata Dal working president Surendra Bajpai against the circular issued on November 18, 2010, by director general of police D Sivanandhan's office.
The circular instructed all police stations across the state to "not make a note of calls or visits by legislators or ministers in station diaries" that are maintained at each police station to record each day's proceedings.
Terming the circular as unconstitutional, Bajpai alleged that it accorded special privileges to MLAs, which was not bestowed upon them either by the constitution, law or any other parliamentary precedent and practice.
"This move by the government will encourage criminals to become politicians so that they can shield themselves. Moreover, what conversation between MLAs and the police does the government want to hide? There is already lack of transparency in the system, and the government is promoting it more with this circular," said Bajpai.
The PIL pointed out that the order would allow MLAs to interfere in police investigations.
"A police diary is not a personal diary, but an official record of matters pertaining to criminal investigation. The politicians have huge clout and pressurise the police department on several occasions. They intend to dilute certain criminal cases using their powers and if this order is implemented they will be made more powerful," said Sophia Sawant, RTI activist from Tilaknagar.