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Where to Complain against Police in India?

AN OUTLOOK: POLICE COMPLAINTS AUTHORITY IN INDIA (Punjab Haryana Chandigarh)

Law serves a number of purposes and functions in our society. From establishing standards and maintaining a code of conduct to resolving disputes arising between persons and finally, protecting their rights and liberties, law does it all. However, a legal system cannot prevail without a strong and effective justice system. Justice system in India is a legacy of the British system and has four sub-systems underneath it, namely the Parliament, the Police, the Court and the Prisons.

Complaint against Police in Chandigarh Panchkula Mohali

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Indian Police System plays a major role in providing citizens, a sense of safety and security. The police are empowered to discharge a number of functions and duties, in order to screen citizens from any kind of intrusion with respect their rights. However, while discharging functions, the police sometimes cross their limits and adopt heinous mental and physical acts resulting in abuse and torture to the person in custody. It is believed that, in India, police is more on fists than on wits and on torture more than culture. Furthermore, due to enhanced corruption, the lower and the middle class, see policemen as middlemen controlled by the monetary power of the rich class. The major stumbling block is the lack of understanding with regard to design, structure and internal culture of Police.

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With a view to cater the problem of violence or any other misconduct carried on by a Police Officer, the Supreme Court has authorized the citizens to lodge a complaint under the Police Complaint Authority regarding any misconduct.

Police Complaints Authority (PCA)

Under the landmark judgment of 2006, Prakash Singh v. UOI, the Supreme Court directed all States and Unions, to establish a Police Complaints Authority (PCA) at the district, state and centre level with the purpose to reform police functions all over India.

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Some of the major highlights of PCA are as follows:-

  • The court has directed to establish PCA at State and District level to increase accessibility and feasibility for all. Further, the complaints against the officers holding rank of Superintendent of Police (SOP) and above shall be instituted in the State PCA, whereas, the complaints against officers below the rank of Deputy SOP, shall be instituted in the district PCA.
  • PCA can inquire and investigate complaints against officers owing to serious misconduct either ‘suo moto’ or on a complaint received from the victim or any person on behalf of the victim. Also Read- LOOKING FOR BEST CRIMINAL LAWYER
  • Serious misconduct on behalf of a police officer shall include any act that amounts to death in police custody, extortion by an officer, land grabbing by an officer and any incident involving higher degree of abuse of authority by a police officer. In addition, grievous hurt and rape in police custody, shall also amount to serious misconduct.
  • Citizens can lodge a complaint in writing and send it to the PCA by post or in person. The complaint must be instituted as soon as the incident has taken place. The complaint shall include the name, address and contact details of the victim along with the date of happening and the details about the incident. In addition, the name and rank of the police officer with the misconduct done by him and the degree of injury inflicted to the victim shall be provided. A number of documents like photographs showing injury, medical reports, proof of prior complaints about the same officer, etc shall be annexed alongside the complaint.

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The ultimate flaw in our legal system is the lack of implementation measures. This is one of the major causes that even after 13 years since the judgment, only few states have successfully established PCA. According to the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), none of the state governments that have set up PCAs have complied with the court’s directive in its entirety.

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Recently, Punjab Government has decided to establish PCA in its most populated Districts. Additional Chief Secretary of Punjab, Mr. Satish Chandra gave a statement that the State Government has finalized the rules for PCA and the matter has been placed before the council for approval. It has been further added that once the approval shall be received, the Punjab Government shall constitute a screening committee for selecting PCA members. According to the reports of Punjab Human Rights Commission, more than 54% of human rights violation complaints since 1997 are recorded against the police officers.

This post is written by Prabhjot Kaur. For more info on subject, please call- 99888-17966.

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