For the first time,a district-level grievance redressal authority to hear complaints arising from abuse of power,especially by the police and forest officials,is taking shape in Madhya Pradesh on the orders of the Supreme Court. The state government last week issued a notification to set up such an authority in Betul,Harda and Khandwa districts,a day before the apex court deadline of August 31.
The judgment by Justices D K Jain and Madan B Lokur came in response to a PIL by Shramik Adivasi Sangathan,an organisation active in these three districts,highlighting harassment of tribals and exposing alleged corrupt practices of the forest,police and other authorities.
To be headed by a retired district and sessions judge,the authority will address complaints arising out of false registration of cases,abuse of power,and refusal to file first information reports.
The government has been asked to give wide publicity about the authority through print and electronic media in the three districts. The authority will have to submit a report to the SC on the compliance of its order before the next hearing in November.
The Chief Justice of MP High Court will nominate the chairman and four other members in consultation with the Chairman of State Human Rights Commission,Lokayukta,and Chairman of the State Public Service Commission by October 15.