Mumbai: Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Wednesday said the state police department will be further empowered in order to expedite investigations and administrative decision making processes.
"Police force will be further empowered and will be made more accountable. We are of the view of decentralisation of power to expedite any process related to administrative decision making and speed up probe of (criminal) cases. However, there will be checks and balances," Fadnavis said after presiding over a meeting with the force at state police headquarters here.
The chief minister said he reviewed the current challenges faced by the department while tackling crimes (cases) and taking administrative decisions and also noted down suggestions made by policemen.
Asked about political interference in transfers and other functions of the police department, Fadnavis assured that he would try to ensure no political interference takes place.
To a query on Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) files lying with the government seeking sanction to prosecute Class I officers or formers ministers in disproportionate assets or graft cases, Fadnavis said the government will speak to the Advocate General on the matter.
"We will speak to the new Advocate General in this regard. We have a stand that such files should be sanctioned on time and if not sanctioned on time, it must be considered deemed to be sanctioned.
"We are working in this direction. We are also looking how other states are dealing with such issues. Nobody will be shielded for doing wrong," he said.
Asked about the Bombay High Court's rejection on CBI's petition to drop former chief minister Ashok Chavan's name as an accused in the Adarsh scam case, Fadnavis said, "As far as Adarsh case is concerned, whatever wrong actions taken by the state government under its purview earlier will be corrected. Not only in the Adarsh case but in any other case as well, we will do whatever is right."
In a setback for Chavan, the Bombay High Court today rejected CBI's petition to drop his name as an accused in the Adarsh housing scam case.
During the meeting, various issues were discussed including improvisation in criminal probes and conviction rate, curbing crime against women and children, tackling terrorism, radicalism, Naxalism among others.
"We are of the view that Forensic Laboratory and cyber cells' capacities should be expanded so that pending cases can be cleared," he said.
Claiming that funds sanctioned for modernisation of state police remained unutilised due to existing lengthy administrative process, the CM said, "We plan to streamline and simplify the system and grant powers to officers concerned to make effective utilisation of funds."
To a query on rising incidences of defamatory posts on social media, Fadnavis said that there have been instances that rumours were spread through social and digital media.
"We want to stop this misuse but do not want to censor. Social labs will be further equipped and we will try to increase its efficiency," he added.
On installation of CCTVs in the city, the CM said that process to install CCTVs has been expedited and the work will start soon. He said he has asked the administration to directly bring into his notice about hurdles being faced.