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HC raps Maharashtra govt over circular

February 28, 2011 21:10 IST

The Bombay High Court directed the state government to file an affidavit, explaining its motive behind issuing a circular asking police officials not to record instructions coming from politicians, within two weeks.

A division bench of Justices B H Marlapalle and R V More also issued a notice to the director general of police and sought his reply too.

In a petition filed by journalist Ketan Tirodkar, the court questioned the government's motive behind issuing the circular dated November 11, 2010. "If the government is trying to curtail the powers of the police, then we will not allow it," Justice Marlapalle remarked.

The circular stated that apart from what is mandatory under the Police Manual, the police must not record in their station diary any instructions coming from the Members of the Legislative Assembly.

Tirodkar, in his petition, has stated that the circular was discriminatory. The court cited a hypothetical example where an influential politician may call a police officer and ask him not to act on a complaint or make any arrests.

"If the officer is honest he will want to record the instructions coming from a minister or MLA. What is wrong in that? Why should the police be stopped from recording it?" Justice Marlapalle questioned.

The court also observed that the circular was "vague" and could be interpreted in different ways.

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