649 complaints filed against police officials in Maharashtra in one year
The authority started functioning in January 2017, after the apex court asked all states to establish a body to hear citizens’ complaints against copsmumbai Updated: Jan 19, 2018 12:21 IST
The state police complaints authority (SPCA) received 649 complaints from various parts of Maharashtra in its first year. The majority of the complaints registered related to police officials refusing to file a first information report (FIR).
The authority started functioning in January last year, after the Supreme Court asked all states to establish a body to hear complaints of citizens against police personnel.
According to the president of SPCA, AV Potdar, of the 649 complaints, decisions have been given for 196 complaints. While hearings were underway for 259 complaints, 194 complaints were still being probed.
The SPCA has its own investigators, most of whom are former police officials.
“The maximum number of complaints were against police officers refusing to file FIRs. Most complaints were against police station level officials, while two were against additional director general level officials,” said former IPS officer, PK Jain, who is now member of the SPCA.
Apart from not filing FIRs, other complaints included assault by police officers, misuse of power, and illegal detention, said SPCA officials, adding after they receive complaints, they ask the police station involved for an explanation, and the whole process takes around five to six months.
Of the 196 decisions made by the authority, action has been recommended in just one case. Potdar said that it was mandatory for the state government to take action against those whom the SPCA has recommended. The SPCA also has the power to take action against a person filing a false complaint.
“So far, two cases were found to be false complaints, and the complainants were let off with a warning,” he added.
In Maharashtra, the SPCA division is presently operational in Mumbai and Pune. The Navi Mumbai division is slated to start soon, and there are plans to start divisions in other parts of the state like Aurangabad, Nagpur, Amravati, Nashik among others.