The Maharashtra government on Monday told the Bombay High Court that it has amended the rules for police recruitment following the death of five candidates last year.
On June 11, 2014, five candidates had died after collapsing due to exertion during the five-km run, which is part of the physical fitness test for the police recruitment. Fifteen other candidates, including five women, had reportedly collapsed due to dehydration.
The High Court had then taken suo moto (on its own) cognisance of the issue following a letter by city-based NGO All Maharashtra Human Rights Association.
Additional government pleader Milind More informed a division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice B P Colabawalla that the rules have been amended.
“Under the amended rules, the five-km run for men has been reduced to three kms and the three-km run for women has been reduced to one km,” More submitted.
The court was told that a committee will be formed under the chairmanship of the Director General of Police before the recruitment drive next year.
The committee will look into the recruitment process and also consider the suggestions made by several NGOs. This year there will be no recruitment drive.
The government counsel said that of the five candidates who had collapsed, one died due to dengue. The candidate had not informed the authorities about his illness at the time of taking the fitness test.
The government has disbursed a sum of Rs 25 lakh each as compensation to the families of the five candidates who lost their lives, he said.
An intervention petition was filed by activist Ruju Thakker on the last hearing giving various suggestions.
One of the main suggestions was that the police grounds should be used for training purposes instead of conducting these on service roads.
The court asked the committee to consider the suggestions made by Thakker during the next recruitment process.