Restraining the appearance of the District District Attorney (DDA), Atul Sethi, from the side of the delinquent police personnel, Police Complaint Authority (PCA) clearly said in its 17-pages long order that “We are pained to note that the language employed by the police authorities in one letter clearly indicates that they have assumed that the complaints entertained by this authority are against the Police Department. It is not so. As per the notification of 14 February, 2017, this Authority has been constituted to enquire into allegations of serious misconduct against police personnel (and not the Police Department).”
The judgement further said, “We may clarify that it will be open to the police personnel complained against to be represented by their fellow employee or a retired employee and by a legal practitioner in cases where the complainant is represented by a legal practitioner, with the leave of this Authority. We will welcome any move of the police authorities and the Chandigarh administraton to appoint an Assistant or Deputy District Attorney to assist this Authority in its day to day functioning (but not to defend the police personnel facing allegations of serious misconduct).”
The judgement delivered by PCA Chairman, Justice (retired), Mahavir Singh Chauhan, was made available in the public domain on Tuesday. The judgement was announced on Monday.
The delivered judgment was related to Dr Mohit Dhawan, accused in a case of forgery and cheating, who later accused two police personnel, including Inspector Ashwani Attri and Sub Inspector Balwinder Singh, of misconduct. Inspector Attri is in the police service, while SI Balwinder Singh has retired from the police service. A senior police officer said, “We are yet to study the judgement. We will definitely act according to the judgment, once we read its contents.”
However, a retired Chandigarh police sub inspector, requesting anonymity, said, “Till now, our cases were being represented by the police department’s representatives.”
In the defense of DDA Atul Sethi in the PCA, the Chandigarh police had mentioned about the posting of an Assistant District Attorney with the Haryana State Police Complaints Authority. On this front, the judgment said, “It only needs to be stated that as per the stand of the DGP and the SSP itself, the Assistant District Attorney has been posted to assist the Authority in its functioning which cannot mean, by any stretch of imagination, defending the delinquent police personnel.”