An independent Police Complaints Authority (PCA) constituted by the government of Puducherry started functioning recently. The authority, which looked into three complaints, sent notices to the parties concerned.
Justice P Shanmugam (retired from Madras High Court) has been appointed as the chairman. P R Ramanathan IAS (retired) and A Amalorpava Marie Victoria are the members, while the Joint Secretary (Home) would be the convenor-cum-secretary of the PCA. The terms of office of the chairperson and the members would be for three years.
Pankaj Kumar Jha, Additional Secretary (Home), said that people having any grievance with the functioning of any police officer could file petitions with the PCA, which has been authorised to look into the matter.
The Authority may submit its findings in a case within 60 days from the date of receipt of a complaint, and in case of it being unable to meet the deadline, the Authority would submit a report showing reasons for the delay with the L-G.
As per the gazette notification (dated January 19, 2011) the Authority shall inquire into allegations of “serious misconduct” against police personnel, either suo motu or on a complaint received from any of the following.
The “Serious misconduct” shall mean any act or omission on part of a police officer that leads to or amounts to - (a) death in police custody; (b) grievous injury, as defined in section 320 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860; (c) rape or attempt to commit rape; (d) arrest or detention without due process of law; (e) extortion; (f) land/house grabbing; or (g) any incident involving serious abuse of authority.
The Authority shall inquire into a complaint of such arrest, only after satisfying itself about the veracity of the complaint. The Authority may inquire into any other case referred to it by the Lieutenant Governor.