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3-year term of PCA ends, appointment of new members ‘under consideration’

India on 03 October 2013
Location : Chandigrah, India | Source : Indian Express

The three-year term of the Police Complaints Authority (PCA), Chandigarh, ended on Monday and no immediate appointment of new members appears to be in sight. Already at loggerheads with the PCA over its powers, the Chandigarh Administration maintains that the appointment of new members is "under consideration".
Till new members are appointed, people aggrieved with the functioning of Chandigarh Police will have to wait.

On October 16 last, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had directed the administration to amend its notification that had reduced the PCA to only a "recommendatory" body. Referring to a Supreme Court judgment, the High Court had ordered that the PCA's directions would be binding in nature. Aggrieved, the Chandigarh Administration had recently filed an appeal against the High Court order which is yet to come up for hearing.

The administration had been alleging that the PCA was passing orders beyond its jurisdiction.

When contacted, UT Advisor K K Sharma said, "The appointment of new members in the PCA is under consideration. However, no particular date can be mentioned to state the finalisation of the process." Asked why new members were not appointed in advance, he said, "I will look into the matter."

However, UT Home Secretary Anil Kumar said, "The reconstitution of the PCA is at an advanced stage and would be finalised shortly. The process was initiated well in advance but processing of nominations has taken time."

Inspector General of Police R P Upadhyaya said "it is for the administration to look into the problem of PCA not functioning tomorrow onwards".

The PCA, on the directions of the Supreme Court, was constituted in June 2010 in the city and started functioning in September 2010. The PCA comprised of retired High Court Justice N K Agarwal, retired IPS officer Kanwaljit Singh and Joyshri Lobo, with Agarwal being the chairperson.

Talking to Chandigarh Newsline, Lobo said, "I have no idea as to whom the complainants would approach tomorrow onwards. No matter how much we wish, we cannot work any longer as our term in the office has ended."

"PCA has acted in a big way in helping the public to come forward with their grievances. Moreover, it has also helped in making the Chandigarh Police realise that now they would not escape easily after harassing a citizen," said Kanwaljit Singh.

As per official figures, till November 23 last, 298 complaints were filed, out of which 249 were disposed of by the PCA.

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