The full bench of the Goa Human Rights Commission (GHRC) headed by retired Justice U. V. Bakre and comprising of former District Judges Desmond D’Costa and Pramod Kamat today directed that notices be issued to the Chief Secretary and Director General of Police over the move to hurriedly and haphazardly inaugurate a Police Station at Sancoale on 15th August.
The directions were issued on a complaint filed by Adv. Aires Rodrigues who has drawn the attention of the GHRC that the Chief Secretary on 15th March this year had informed the GHRC that the proposed police Station which was supposed to be inaugurated on the occasion of local MLA Alina Saldanha’s birthday on 27th February had been kept on hold and that the police station would be notified only after all the suitable arrangements as regards infrastructure facilities are put in place.
The Chief Secretary and DGP have today been directed to file their replies and remain present for the hearing tomorrow 11th August at 10.30 am.
Adv. Rodrigues in his complaint has stated that despite that undertaking given by the Chief Secretary, the authorities are now trying to hurriedly and haphazardly inaugurate the Sancoale Police Station on 15th August at the old electricity department quarters which were abandoned for around two decades and in a very dilapidated condition.
Stating that this is in gross violation of the Human Rights of the staff and people who would visit the police station, Adv. Rodrigues has in his complaint questioned as to how this very small premises would cater to a police force of 40 which is the minimum staff that would be required to run the Police Station.
Adv. Rodrigues in his complaint has stated that the authorities were acting unlawfully in breach of law as the setting up of a new police station needs to be first notified in the official gazette which to date has not been done and the jurisdiction of the new police station has to be also specified in terms of Section 2(s) of the Criminal Procedure Code.
Pointing out that the guidelines on setting up of Police stations laid down by the Bureau of Police Research and Development of the Ministry of Home Affairs have also not been adhered to, Adv. Rodrigues in his complaint has expressed concern for the health and well being of the police staff besides the public that would be visiting the police station.
Adv. Rodrigues has also drawn the attention of the GHRC that the proposed Sancoale Police Station does not have water, electricity supply nor proper parking facilities and that while on account of the reckless tearing hurry no structural plans have been prepared and the repair works have not been tendered as required.
Adv. Rodrigues in his complaint has submitted that the Sancoale Police Station should be inaugurated only after all the formalities besides the required infrastructure and necessary amenities are in place, as that Police Station would have to cater to a very huge population of over 25,000 comprising residents of the Panchayats of Cortalim, Sancoale, Cansaulim-Arrosim- Cuelim and Velsao-Pale.
Adv. Rodrigues has stated that despite the GHRC having on several occasions emphasized that the Police are Human beings and should be so treated, that it was dismaying the authorities were consistently paying scant respect to the welfare and well being of the police while acting in gross violation of their Human Rights.
Drawing the attention of the GHRC that Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana has this week observed that the risk of Human Right violations is highest at the Police Stations, Adv. Rodrigues in his complaint has stated that if the Sancoale Police Station is allowed to function in the current conditions it would in the first place be grossly violating the human rights of the police personnel working there.
While stating that the Chief Secretary and DGP must ensure that police personnel do not suffer hardship and misery while ruining their health without the necessary infrastructure and facilities, Adv. Rodrigues in his complaint has sought that they be directed to explain as to how they are acting in violation of law by trying to hurriedly inaugurate the Sancoale Police Station contrary to the laid down rules and regulations.