The State Police Complaint Authority (SPCA) has recommended punishment against police personnel only in seven cases in the last three years. Since it was set up in January 2017, SPCA has received 1,485 complaints from people across Maharashtra, of which it has disposed of 1,340 cases.
In only seven cases, they have recommended action against policemen, who include two IPS officers. The authority is still hearing 145 complaints, an official said.
The authority started functioning after the Supreme Court ordered all the states to form a special body to hear complaints against police personnel.
The SPCA can only recommend action against errant police officers to the government. The SPCA committee includes a retired High Court judge and retired police officers.
Of the 1,485 complaints the authority received, 716 complaints were received against junior-level personnel, that include personnel from the constabulary to police inspectors, while 769 complaints were received against senior-level officers that includes Assistant Commissioners of Police to state DGP.
Owing to inadequate manpower, the officials added that they are yet to scrutinise 160 complaints which has been pending since July.
An official said, “In many cases we do not pass any order pertaining to punishment as we try to settle the issue between the complainant and police personnel. Usually once the complainant is satisfied, the matter gets resolved.”
The authority further added that out of the seven recommendations, the respective officials have taken action in two cases.
In one instance punishment was given to a Thane-based ACP, a senior police inspector and an investigating officer after recommendation made by the SPCA while in the second instance, there was a property dispute between brothers. They had recommended re-investigation following which the case is being reinvestigated.
The officials further said that if they find Akola’s SP and a police sub-inspector responsible, a case shall be registered against them as well.
“In the remaining five cases, the authorities are yet to respond. So we have written to the government asking for updates. They have forwarded our application to the state DG who has further sent our letter to the respective Commissioner and Superintendent of Police and we are awaiting their response,” said Jain.