March 18, 2015 4:12:41 am
By Vivek Gupta
The Chandigarh Police Complaints Authority will not remain a toothless body, as the administration has initiated the process of issuing a notification for making its recommendations binding.
Home Secretary Anurag Agarwal on Tuesday said the file had been sent to the administrator for approval, which was likely soon.
In accordance with the Supreme Court directions issued in Parkash Singh’s case, the administration had issued a notification on June 23, 2010 for setting up the PCA, but its recommendations were not made binding.
Clause 3 (b) (iv) of the notification stated that the directions of the authority shall ordinarily be binding unless, for the reasons to be recorded in writing, the UT Administration decided to disagree with its findings.
This clause was struck down by the Punjab and Haryana High Court in 2013. Later, the Supreme Court upheld the high court decision, and observed that the provisions in the Chandigarh PCA notification were contrary to the guidelines laid down in Parkash Singh’s case.
In August last year, the Ministry of Home Affairs directed the Chandigarh Administration to amend its notification to bring it in accordance with the Supreme Court directions.
Sources said that since the PCA came into existence in September, 2010, it had recommended disciplinary action against police officials on many complaints, but the administration took no action in most cases. The authority receives about 10 complaints every month.
The main function of the PAC is to inquire into allegations of “serious misconduct” against police personnel, either suo moto or on complaints received from the general public
According to the notification, “serious misconduct” means any act or omission of a police officer that leads to or amounts to death in police custody; grievous hurt, rape or attempt to commit rape; arrest or detention without due process of law; extortion; land or house grabbing; or any incident involving serious abuse of authority.
PCA chairman Pardeep Mehra said that a notification, making the authority’s recommendations binding, was long awaited.
Meanwhile, a public interest litigation challenging Mehra’s appointment is pending in the high court.
It has been contended that the administration did not invite a panel of retired judges for making the selection, as prescribed by the Supreme Court.
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