The Bombay High Court on Thursday directed the state government to take adequate and prompt steps to fill up vacant posts of the staff at the State and Divisional Level Police Complaint Authorities (PCAs) as the “scarcity is making function of authorities almost impossible”.
The HC also directed the state government to collect necessary information from all the police stations in Maharashtra as to what steps have been taken by them to give publicity to the functions of the PCA.
A division bench of Chief Justice Devendra Kumar Upadhyaya and Justice Arif S Doctor was hearing PIL filed by social activist Medha Patkar, argued through advocate Yashodeep Deshmukh, seeking directions to the Maharashtra government to urgently fill up the vacancies in the SPCA and to provide adequate and timely release of funds and necessary facilities.
Rahul Vijay Kulkarni, Joint Secretary, state Home Department filed an additional affidavit in reply to the PIL stating that certain steps have been taken to fill up vacancies in the PCAs at state and divisional level. The government also stated that it is in process of reconsidering the policy to outsource the staff.
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“We, however, notice the need to expedite the process of filling up these vacancies… The scarcity of the staff in these authorities makes function of the authorities almost impossible,” the bench noted.
Moreover, the Home department stated that advertisements have been put up in newspapers and also instructions have been issued to the Director General of Police (DGP) through a letter dated October 5 related to publicity of functions of the PCA. As per the letter, the DGP has been asked to give wide publicity to functions of the authority in every police station.
The Court sought affidavit from the state government in response to the order including the details of steps taken by it for necessary infrastructure facilities to be provided to these authorities and posted further hearing to January 3, 2024