The Bombay High Court today directed the Maharashtra government to inform the steps taken to fill up vacancies in the State Police Complaints Authority (SPCA).

A Division Bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice M S Karnik noted that every week a fresh petition is filed raising the issue of vacancies in public bodies.

The Bench was hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by social activist Medha Patkar seeking that the government be directed to fill up vacancies in the SPCA so that it can become functional.

"Every public body we find there are vacancies...every week a fresh petition is filed saying there are vacancies," Chief Justice Datta said.

The High Court posted the matter for further hearing after three weeks by when the government will have to inform the court about the steps it has taken to recruit people in posts lying vacant in the SPCA.

Patkar claimed that the government has not filled up all the posts since the establishment of the SPCA on purpose and has not provided all the necessary facilities required to make it fully functional.

The SPCA was set up in June 2014. Out of the 25 posts, the posts of only chairman and the member-secretary were filled by regular appointment. The posts of the remaining members are yet to be filled by the government, Patkar stated in the petition.

No accommodation or driver is provided to the chairman and members. There is also no dedicated web portal to enable litigants and victims to approach the authority seamlessly and during COVID-19, e-mode was not established, it added.

The petitioner stated that she approached the High Court after the state government failed to reply to her letter in February.

With PTI inputs