PCA recast but without recommended names

None of the 11 names recommended by UT Home Secretary Anil Kumar for the post of chairman and members of the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) has found favour with the UT Administrator.

Written by Express News Service | Chandigarh | Published:January 3, 2014 4:07 am

None of the 11 names recommended by UT Home Secretary Anil Kumar for the post of chairman and members of the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) has found favour with the UT Administrator.

The PCA,reconstituted on November 8 last year,now has former UT adviser Pradip Mehra as chairman; former DGP Pradeep Kumar Srivastava and Zoya R Sharma as members.

All three names were approved by UT Administrator Shivraj V Patil and his advisor K K Sharma.

In his list,the Home Secretary had recommended names of Justice (retd) Kuldip Singh,Justice (retd) S S Sodhi,and three retired IAS officers,namely Sada Nand,K S Raju and C L Bains. The five names were recommended for the post of PCA chairman. Of the five,Justices (retd) Kuldip Singh and S S Sodhi and retired IAS Sada Nand did not give their consent to head the authority.

Likewise,six names were recommended by the Home Secretary for the posts of members. Of the six,Deepa Jain Singh,IAS (retd),did not give her consent. The other five were: S K Verma,(retd) DGP,Punjab; V K Kapoor,IPS (retd); G P S Sahi,IAS (retd); Kamal K Sharma,advocate; and Harbans Kaur,additional registrar,Cooperative Societies,Punjab. These names also did not find favour with the administrator.

This has come to light in response to an application filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act by R K Garg,a local resident.

Significantly,the administration did not seek a panel of names from the Punjab and Haryana High Court for appointment of chairman of the police authority.

The Supreme Court judgment,dated September 22,2006 in which the apex court had directed all states/ UTs to constitute PCA,states that a state government/ UT will have to seek a panel of names proposed by the Chief Justice.

The relevant para of the judgment reads,“State-level Authority may be headed by a retired Judge of the High Court/Supreme Court. The head of the State level Complaints Authority shall be chosen by the State Government out of a panel of names proposed by the Chief Justice.”

However,this was not done in this case as it has emerged from the official notings furnished by the administration under the RTI Act.

As per advocate H C Arora,the notification dated June 23,2010 under which the PCA was initially constituted is illegal. For,according to Arora,the notification makes an IAS officer of Secretary level also eligible for appointment as chairperson of the authority. Arora said he would move the High Court demanding quashing of the said notification.

However,Home Secretary Anil Kumar said “the PCA was reconstituted as per rules laid down by the Ministry of Home Affairs which has a provision to appoint a retired Secretary to Government of India as chairman of the authority”.

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