Functions of Police Complaint Authority
Functions of Police Complaint Authority
The Authority inquiries into allegations of serious misconduct against police personnel either suo-motu (meaning by taking cognizance of the act on its own) or on a complaint received from the citizens or on the reference for the Government or Human Rights Commission.
After a detailed inquires which may include hearing of the complainant, officer/officials against whom the complaint has been made, and after examination of witnesses and record if the Authority finds that there is an act of omission or commission the Authority makes a recommendation to the Government to take action against the delinquent officer/official along with any other recommendation regarding investigations. In case, no lapse or irregularity or any fault on part of Police Authorities is found after the inquiry, the complaint is filed.
Who can file a complaint?
Following persons can file a complaint as per section 65
- A victim or any person on his/her behalf on a sworn affidavit.
- National or State Human Right Commission.
- DGP Police or the State Government.
What kinds of Complaints are enquired by the SPCA?
SPCA enquires into all complaints which involve allegations of serious misconduct by any police officers/officials.
“Serious Misconduct” mentioned above means any action or non-action of a police officer that involves.
- Death in police custody
- Rape or attempt to commit rape in Police Custody.
- Grievous hurt in police custody.
- Arrest or detention without due process of law.
- Acquiring property through coercion.
- Inaction by Police Official in any offence as defined in the Indian Penal Code, 1860 which attracts minimum punishment of ten years or more
Further “Grievous Hurt” includes only the following kinds of hurt:-
- Permanent loss of the sight of either eye.
- Permanent loss of the hearing of either ear
- Loss of any member or joint
- Destruction or permanent impairing of the powers of any member or joint.
- Permanent deformity of the head or face.
- Fracture or dislocation of a bone or tooth
Any hurt which is dangerous to the extent that it can take life of a person or which cause the person severe bodily pain in a period of twenty days or the person is unable to do his/her routine work with ease.
Necessary documents to be attached with the complaint.
The complainant must attach the following documents before it can be processed further:-
- A signed affidavit
- Valid Identity Proof such as a copy of Aadhar Card/Voter ID/ Driving license or residence proof such as Electricity bill, Water bill, and Telephone bill.
- In Case a person is filing on behalf of the victim then it should be accompanied by an affidavit.
Grounds on which a complaint can be filed by the Authority
A complaint may be filed by the Authority on the following grounds.
- If it is anonymous or pseudonymous.
- If the complainant does not submit an affidavit or a valid identity proof in spite of written communication by SPCA.
- If the complaint is not covered under Section-65 of the Haryana Police Act 2007
- If the matter is pending before any Court/Human Rights Commission.
- If the complaint is time-barred i.e. the incident is more than one year old.
Powers of Police Complaint Authority
In cases directly enquired by Authority, it has all the powers of a civil court trying a suit under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 and in particular in respect of the following matters:-
- Summoning and enforcing the attendance of witnesses and examining them on oath
- Discover and production of any document.
- Receiving evidence on affidavits.
- Requisitioning any public record or copy thereof from any court or office.
- Issuing authorities for the examination of witnesses or documents.
- Any other matter as may be prescribed.
Procedure followed by the Police Complaint Authority
Complaints are received in Authority via-
a. Email, by post, or in person.
b. References are also received from the State Government/Human Rights Commission.
After receiving the complaint the following procedure is adopted:-
- First it is scrutinized whether necessary documents have been attached by the complainant and whether it falls under the purview of the SPCA as per provisions of the Haryana Police Act 2007. If the complaint doesn’t fall under the purview of State Police Complaint Authority as per the Act or necessary documents are not attached by the complainant, the matter is filed by the Authority.
- If the complaint meets the above criteria, SPCA seeks a report from the concerned SP of the District.
- If Authority is satisfied with the status report of the Superintendent of Police the Authority may take a final decision on the basis of the report, itself.
- If Authority is not satisfied with the status report of the Superintendent of Police concerned, the Complainant is called for personal hearing before the Authority.
- After hearing the complainant, the complaint can either be disposed of or the Authority may summon the records and concerned Police officers/officials and witnesses. Regular inquiry can also be initiated by Authority through its own investigation wing.
- Hearings are conducted in presence of the complainant and the officers/officials against whom the complaint has been filed.
- After hearing all the parties and examination all records, witnesses, and enquiry reports of the investigation wing, if any, the Authority takes a final decision to either file the matter or make appropriate recommendations to the Government.