September 3, 2021 4:14:04 am
STRESSING ON the need for an autonomous body to deal with complaints against the police personnel, the Police Reform Commission Thursday urged the UT administration and police to reconstitute the Police Complaints Authority from a fresh angle along with a dedicated staff involving former police officers.
Though a notification about the formation of PCA in Chandigarh was issued in 2010, it remained dysfunctional for almost seven years due to various reasons including infrastructure, manpower, sitting place and no clear vision about the jurisdiction of the body. The last chairman of the body was retired Justice Mahender Singh Chauhan, who resigned from the post citing ‘personal reasons’ in March, 2020 amidst various reports of non-cooperation on part of Chandigarh Police with PCA members.
PCA members had written to then UT Administrator VP Singh Badnore about the non-compliance of various orders, judgments and instructions of PCA by the Chandigarh Police.
“Construction of PCA is one of the directives out of seven recommended by Supreme Court of India following the famous Parkash Singh PIL on the police reforms. We give special attention on the construction of PCA from a fresh angle. PCA is a watchdog body, which has constitutional authority to look after criminal complaints against the police personnel. Ironically, earlier the PCA was forwarding the complaints against cops to the police department expecting a fair probe. We observed that if we want a successful PCA, the authority should have its own independent staff to investigate the complaints. The independent staff may include retired cops also. As it is a directive ordered by the Supreme court, no state/UT can be denied to constitute a PCA in their jurisdiction,” said Prof Anil Monga of Centre for Police Administration, Panjab University, who assisted in the PRC.
Sources said through various complaints were received in PCA, there were a few in which the police department had acted on the findings of PCA. In one of such case, UT Police had booked a retired police inspector for accepting a bribe of Rs 1 lakh from a man to recruit him in Chandigarh Police in January, 2019. The order of PCA dates back to November, 2018.
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