Provisions of Law
The authority finds its origin in the Judgement dated 22.09.2006 in the famous case namely Prakash Singh & Ors Vs Union of India & Ors.
Along with many directions given to the Union Government, State Governments, and Union Territories for the Police Reforms, one was the establishment of Police Complaints Authority at the District and State Level.
According to it, “ There shall be a Police Complaints Authority at the District Level to look into the complaints against Police Officers of and up to the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police. Similarly, there should be another Police Complaints Authority at the State Level to look into the complaints against officers of the rank of Superintendent of Police and above.”
In the view above, The Haryana Police Act, 2007 (herein after “the act”) received the assent of the Governor of Haryana on 28th May 2008.
Chapter VIII titled “ Police Accountability” of The Haryana Police Act, 2007 gives for the establishment of a Police Complaints Authority at the State and the District level.
Constitution of the Authority- Section 59 of the act says, “The State Government shall constitute a body to be called the State Police Complaint Authority to exercise the powers and perform the functions conferred on or assigned to it under this act.
The Authority shall consist of –
- Such number of members as deemed necessary but not exceeding three
- The Chairperson and the members shall be appointed by the Chief Minister from amongst the persons of eminence having wide knowledge and experience of at least twenty years in the field of Public life, academics, law, administration and governance, criminal administration and social work on the recommendations of the State Committee to be constituted in this behalf which shall submit its proposal to the Chief Minister
Provided that at least one of the members or the Chairperson shall be a woman.
Ineligibility – Section 60 of the act says, “A person shall be ineligible to be appointed as Authority if he–
- Is not a citizen of India;
- Is above seventy years of age;
- Is employed as a public servant;
- Holds any elected office, including that of member of Parliament or State Legislature or any local body;
- Is a member of or is associated in any manner with, an organization declared as unlawful under any existing law;
- Is an office bearer or a member of any political party;
- Has been convicted for any criminal offence involving moral turpitude or for an offence punishable with imprisonment of one year or more;
- Is facing prosecution for any offence mentioned in clause (g) above and against whom charges have been framed by a court of law; or
- Is of unsound mind and has been so declared by a competent court”
Term and Conditions of Chairperson or a member of the Authority Section 61(1) of the act says, “The term of office of the Authority shall be of three years unless –
- He resigns at any time before the expiry of his term; or
- He is removed from the office on any of the grounds mentioned in section 62.
- Attain the age of seventy years
Provided that the chairperson or a member shall, on the expiry of his term of office, be eligible for re-appointment for another three years or till he attains the age of seventy years, whichever is earlier.
Section 61(2) of the act says, “ The remuneration, allowances and other terms and conditions of service of the Chairperson and Members shall be notified by State Government, from time to time and shall not be varied to his disadvantage after appointment.”
Section 61(3) of the act says, “ The Chairperson or a member may, in writing under his hand, addressed to the State Government, resign from his office.”
Section 62(1) of the act says, “The Chairperson or a member of the Authority may be removed by the State Government of the grounds of-
- Proven misconduct or misbehavior
- Persistence neglect to perform duties;
- Occurrence of any situation that would make him ineligible for appointment under section 60; or
- Engaging himself during his term of office in any paid employment outside the duties of his office.
Provided that an enquiry shall be held before removing a Chairperson or a member by a retired judge of the High court of Punjab and Haryana.
Section 62(2) says “Notwithstanding anything contained in Section 62(1), the State Government may, by order, remove the Chairperson or any Member, if he –
- Is adjudged as insolvent.
- In the opinion of the State Government is unfit to continue his office by reason of infirmity of mind or body or of proved.
Supporting staff of the Authority – Section 63 of the act says, “The Authority shall be assisted by an adequate number of officers well versed with the law, finances, in investigative techniques, etc. and the requisite supporting staff with terms and conditions and allowances as may be prescribed for the efficient discharge of its functions.”
Conduct of Business – Section 64 of the act says, “ The Authority shall devise his own rules for the conduct of his business.”
Functions of the Authority – Section 65(1) of the acts says, “The Authority shall inquire into allegations of “serious misconduct” against police personnel as detailed below, either suo-motu or on a complaint received from any of the following:-
- A victim or any person on his behalf on a sworn affidavit;
- The National or State Human Rights
Explanation.- “Serious misconduct” for the purpose of this Chapter shall mean any act or omission of a police officer that leads to or amounts to –
- Death in police custody;
- Rape or attempt to commit rape;
- Grievous hurt in police custody;
- Custody or detention without due process of law;
- Acquiring property through coercion;
- Involvement of Police Personnel in organized crime;
- Inaction by Police Official in any offence as defined in the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (45 of 1860) which attracts minimum punishment of ten years or more;
Provided that 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.
Provided further that no anonymous, synonymous, and pseudonymous complaints shall be entertained.
Powers of Authority – Section 66 of the act says, “In the cases directly enquired by it, the Authority shall have all the powers of a civil court trying a suit under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (Act 5 of 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; and
- Any other matter as may be prescribed.
Decisions and Direction of Authority – Section 67(1) of the acts says, “ In the cases directly inquired by the Authority, it may, upon completion of the inquiry, communicate its findings to the State Government.”
Section 67(2) of the act says, “The State Government shall consider the findings and recommendations of the Authority and take appropriate action.”
District Police Complaint Authority – Section 68(1) of the act says, “The State Government shall constitute a body to be called District Police Complaint Authority for one or more districts to exercise the powers and perform the functions conferred on or assigned to it, under this act.