Monday, July 17, 2017

Cop panel to help make suo motu disclosures easier

DNA: Mumbai: Monday, July 17, 2017.
The state information commission has directed the commissioner of police to set up a committee that can better look after section 4 (suo motu disclosure), form guidelines, besides asking it to have links that provide information up to the level of police station.
The directives were given after an RTI application sought to know details of the suo motu disclosure, the updates, people responsible for updating information as mandated under RTI Act, officers responsible, those who did not perform their responsibility, action taken against them and the citizens charter in both English and Marathi in various police stations.
The RTI application was filed by Dadar resident Mahendra Dharod. "I filed the application because the information provided on the website was not adequate. I wanted to check compliance of section 4. The existing information was old, the previous police commissioner's name continued to be on the website. After filing RTI, the information provided was not adequate and hence I filed a second appeal," said Dharod, who in his second appeal stated that the public information officer tried to misguide him.
He stated that the State Legal Services Authority released a book that provides information in simple language on how to go about approaching the police for penal action.
The order was passed by state information commissioner, Ajit Kumar Jain. During the hearing, the commission observed that while there is no doubt that section 4 of the RTI Act has been implemented, there is scope to improvise on the content. It directed the police commissioner to form a committee headed by whoever it feels fit, such that it will also have additional commissioner of police, deputy commissioner of police, assistant commissioner of police among other officers so that they can formulate a guideline on suo motu disclosure and have such details that people find easy.
It also stated that links be provided from police commissioner level to police station level. It also stated that the committee can have people from the public who can help in telling police the information that they can provide suo motu.
The compliance of the order is to be done by July 31 and all information about the same has to be put up on the website by August 31. "I'm hopeful that the police will also include citizen charter," said Dharod.
Datta Padsalgikar, commissioner of police, Mumbai did not respond to SMS from DNA.
  • The commission directed the police commissioner to form a committee
  • It asked for links to be provided from police commissioner level to police station level
  • The committee can have people from the public