Regulations
Activist urge Maharashtra governor not to give nod to new Police Bill

According to citizens and activists, the Maharashtra Police Bill formalises the very practices of unwarranted political interference with everyday police management that the Supreme Court has sought to reduce

A delegation of concerned citizens recently met Maharashtra governor K Sankarnarayan urging him not to give his assent to the Maharashtra Police Bill.

The Maharashtra Police (Amendment) Act (MPA), 2014, was  passed by both houses of the state legislature on 14  June 2014. The government says they aimed to give capable and well managed police.

Earlier this week a delegation of citizens and activists, led by JF Ribeiro, former Commissioner of Mumbai Police, met the governor requesting him not to give his assent to the Bill, which they allege was passed in haste without due consideration.

After the meeting, Maja Daruwala, director of Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), told reporters that, “We have only been trying to press on the governor to use his powers under Article 200 of the Constitution to withhold his assent to this extremely bad Bill".

Dolphy D'Souza, convener of Police Reforms Watch in Maharashtra, said the Bill formalises the very practices of unwarranted political interference with everyday police management that the Supreme Court has sought to reduce. Hence, it must be overhauled to be made fit for purpose.

Even Prakash Singh, former director general of Police, in a letter, had mentioned that this law is important for decide the direction of policing in the state for future decades, however, the government has pushed it in little hurry without any public consultation. The citizen activists also forwarded this letter to the governor.

“Under the guise of complying with the Supreme Court’s directives on police reforms, the new Bill defeats the objective of giving the public a capable, well-managed and accountable police. It has diluted and even subverted each one of the six directions of the Court. The Bill in fact formalises the very practices of unwarranted political interference with every day police management which the Court had sought to reduce,” Singh had said in his letter.

Maharashtra Police (Amendment) Bill, 2014, passed by the Assembly, is to replace an ordinance which made amendments to the Maharashtra Police Act, 1951, to set the state on the path of police reforms. It is meant to incorporate the directives of the Supreme Court on police reforms.

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COMMENTS

Dhanaji Kenjle

2 years ago

When we see how Banana Republics evovled in the South & Central Americas,the requisite conditions are prevalent today in our country, and one of the main conditions....the blatant interference of unscruplous
politicians in the working of the
police & judiciary, which will be
enhanced by the Maharashtra Police Amendment Bill. It may be the final nail in the coffin of a fair,free,transparent and democartic way of Life, which the
common citizen aspires.
Capt Kenjle

Mumbai Metro: HC to hear MMRDA appeal on rail fares on Monday

MMRDA has challenged the order of a single-judge bench which ruled that the State government agency had no right to decide the fare of the Mumbai Metro

The Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA) has challenged in the Bombay High Court an order of its single-judge bench holding that the State government agency had no right to decide the fare of the Mumbai Metro rail which connects Versova in the west to Ghatkopar in the east.

 

The appeal filed by MMRDA, a state agency, is likely to come up for hearing on 7th July before a bench headed by Chief Justice Mohit Shah.

 

Last week on 24th June, Justice RD Dhanuka had rejected MMRDA’s petition challenging the fares for Mumbai Metro.

 

MMRDA had pleaded that a minimum fare of Rs9 and maximum fare of Rs13 should be charged for the rail corridor as per the agreement between the parties, while the operator – Mumbai Metro One Private Ltd (MMOPL) – announced higher fares ranging between Rs10 to Rs40.

 

Justice Dhanuka, in his order, had also asked the government to direct the fare fixation committee (FFC) to expeditiously fix the tariff of the 11.4-km rail corridor.

 

According to MMRDA, the fares had been decided collectively by all the stake-holders earlier and Reliance Infra, the majority shareholder in MMOPL cannot change them unilaterally without following a due procedure.

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Maharashtra asked to declare construction policy for banks of rivers

Vanashakti, an NGO had filed the petition asking for a direction to the state to prohibit construction within 100 metres of flood level of all rivers, lakes, creeks and 50 metres of tributaries

The Bombay High Court has asked Maharashtra Government to file an affidavit within three weeks declaring its policy on allowing constructions along the banks of rivers, lakes, creeks and tributaries.

 

The order was given by a bench headed by justices VM Kanade and PD Kode while admitting a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Vanashakti, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), asking for a direction to the state to prohibit construction within 100 metres of flood level of all rivers, lakes, creeks and 50 metres of tributaries.

 

Irreparable damage is caused to the environment by creating hindrances on the banks of natural resources such as rivers, lakes, creeks and tributaries by constructing walls or barriers by housing projects, the PIL alleged.

 

Referring to a Government notification, the PIL said that as of now there is a ban only on industries from 500 metres to eight kms on either side of rivers. The PIL urged that policy should be changed and this ban should also extend to residential and commercial projects.

 

The PIL further alleged that a wall running up to two kms had been constructed by a housing project along the banks of river Ulhas, near Dombivali, resulting in changing the course of flood waters of the river. In doing so, many areas have become flood-prone, it said.

 

The petition said that if such constructions are allowed to continue along the river banks, the lives and properties of the local people would be endangered. Also, there would be no check on sewage going from these projects into the river, the PIL alleged.

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