The Bombay High Court Monday rapped the state for its failure to improve the way the state police probe cases, specially those involving serious offences, despite previous court orders. The HC said crime investigation could be improved by adopting modern technology. The court observed that the police were still dependent on old-fashioned techniques in investigating cases and the state was lagging in terms of technology and modern weaponry. The court asked state Advocate General Rohit Deo to personally look into the matter. A division bench of Justice V M Kanade and Justice P R Bora was hearing a PIL filed by Ashwini Rane, a Pune resident who had sought a CBI probe into the murder of her husband, Nikhil Rane. Nikhil was shot dead in November 2009. A CBI probe was sought as the state police couldn’t make headway in the case.
The court, while transferring the case, had considered the larger issue of lacunae in terms of police tackling serious cases.
The High Court, in its previous hearings, had sought compliance from the state government on its previous orders passed on issues of police weapons, technology, recruitment and mechanism to deal with unsolved cases. When the state failed to file a reply on the compliance, the court expressed its displeasure.
Justice Kanade said, “Maharashtra is far behind in terms of modern technology in investigations. The world has moved forward, but Maharashtra still relies on old-fashioned technology even in probing offences such as murder and terrorism. The state seem to be disinterested in complying with the previous orders of the court. It is high time that the investigating agencies change the way cases are investigated, adopt modern technology. Reforms in policing should be introduced.”
The bench also asked the state government to address the loopholes in the investigations and evolve the existing mechanisms and technology.
“The police academy in Nashik also needs a complete overhaul,” added Kanade. The matter has been kept for further hearing on March 10, when the state has been asked to file a reply detailing steps taken to address the issue and about its compliance of previous orders.