25 Mar : The Centre on Thursday decided to set up Police Complaint Authority in all Union territories including the national capital which will look into allegations of serious misconduct including death and sexual assault during custody.
“The government decided to set up the Authority at the Union Territory level in pursuance of the Supreme Court’s judgement dated September 22, 2006 on a writ petition filed by former BSF Chief Prakash Singh,” an official spokesman said in a statement.
The functions of the Authority will be to inquire into allegations of “serious misconduct” like death in police custody, grievous hurt, rape or attempt to commit rape, arrest or detention without due process of law, extortion, land and house grabbing or any incident involving serious abuse of authority against police personnel.
The authority would be authorised to either take a suo moto action or on a complaint received from a victim or any person on their behalf -the National or the State Human Rights Commission, the police, or any other source.
The Authority shall inquire into a complaint of such arrest or detention only if it is satisfied prima facie about the veracity of the complaint.
In the cases directly inquired by the Authority, it may, upon completion of the inquiry, communicate its findings to the police officer heading the police force in the UT with a direction to register a First Information Report and/or initiate departmental action based on such findings, duly forwarding the evidence collected by it to the police.
The Authority directions shall ordinarily be binding, unless for the reasons to be recorded in writing, if the UT Administration decides to disagree with its findings.
The Authority may submit its findings in a case within a period of 60 days from the date of receipt of the complaint and in case of inability to meet the deadline, the Authority may submit a report showing reasons for the delay.
The Authorities of Daman and Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Lakshadweep will be a single member Authority.
However, in the case of Puducherry, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Chandigarh, there will be Chairperson and two Members.
In the case of Delhi, the Authority will have a Chairperson and three other Members, the spokesman said, adding barring Dadra and nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu and Lakshadweep, the Chairperson and members would be appointed by the Administrator of the Union Territory concerned.
The Chairperson of the Authority of the Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu and Lakshadweep will be appointed by the UT Administration in consultation with the Central Government.
They can be removed only after giving them an opportunity to be heard and after prior approval of the Centre.