CHRI seeks changes in SPCA for better efficiency

The Hindu | January 22, 2019

The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) has written to the Chief Minister’s Office and the head of the State Police Complaints Authority (SPCA) seeking several changes in the working of the SPCA and the Maharashta Police (Amendment and Continuation) Act.

The SPCAs were one of the seven directives for police reform laid down by the Supreme Court as part of its judgment in the 2006 case of Prakash Singh vs Union of India. In Maharashta, the SPCA, a quasi-judicial body where complaints can be made against police officers, was made operational in January 2017.

Speaking to the press on Tuesday, Dolphy D’Souza, project lead, CHRI said that the letters were written after an interaction with Justice Anand Potdar, chairperson of the SPCA earlier this month.

“Several organisations and individuals came together to interact with Justice Potdar on January 15. Participants took the opportunity to analyse the legal provisions governing the SPCAs and assess ground-level issues,” Mr. D’Souza said.

The CHRI’s letters draw attention to the fact that serving police officers are part of the SPCAs which will hamper the efficiency of the body, and hence recommends that they be removed. Read the full story here.

Read related coverage in The Indian Express (January 23, 2019): Maharashtra: CHRI makes recommendations to improve functioning, access