VIJAYAWADA: Retired Madras High Court judge V Kanagaraj has been appointed as the Chairman of the Andhra Pradesh Police Complaints Authority (PCA) on Sunday. The tenure of Justice Kanagaraj will be three years from the date of assuming charge. The appointment of Justice Kanagaraj as the PCA chairman comes more than an year after his appointment as the State Election Commission (SEC) by the YS Jagan Mohan Reddy government was struck down by the AP High Court in May 2020.
Principal Secretary (Home) Kumar Vishwajeet issued orders appointing Justice Kanagaraj and said three other members of the authority to assist the chairman would be appointed subsequently. The Police Complaints Authority was set up in accordance with the judgment of the Supreme Court in a writ petition on September 22, 2006. The State government, which was looking for a suitable position for Justice Kanagaraj, picked him for the PCA chief’s post by relaxing the Rule 4(a) of the AP State/District Level Police Complaints Authority (Administration and Procedure) Rules, 2020.
The government modified the rules it framed in October last year to accommodate Justice Kanagaraj. According to GO MS 125 issued in October last, framing PCA Rules- 2020, the chairperson of state/district police complaints authority shall hold the office for a period of three years from the date of taking charge or till completion of 65 years of age, whichever is earlier. As only those below 65 years of age were eligible for appointment to the post, the government relaxed the rule and made Justice Kanagaraj as the chairman of the authority.
The state PAC is meant for the redressal of public grievances or complaints made against the officers of the rank of ASP and above on allegations of serious misconduct including incidents of death, grievous hurt, rape or death in police custody. However, the district PACs will accept the cases and inquire into allegations of extortion, land or house grabbing, or any incident involving serious abuse of authority, from the inspector to DSP rank.