Anyone can lodge a complaint related to any misconduct by any police officer to PCA (Police Complaint Authority). In 2006, The Supreme Court of India in the case of Prakash Singh & Others gave a landmark judgment directing all state government and Union government to reform the way police forces functions all over the country. PCA is also a part of the directive to set up a PCA in all the states.
The court directed the setting up of both state level, as well as district-level police complaints, authorize so that they would be easily accessible for all. This was ensured that complaints against officers of the rank of SP and above could be made to the state PCA a complaint against the officer of and below the rank of DSP could be made to the district level PCA. This was also to assure that people living all over a state would have easier access to a complaints body without having to travel to the state capital.
The PCA shall inquire into the complaints of serious misconduct against police personnel either `suo motu` or on a complaint received from a victim or any person on his or her wing. Even complaints by NHRC would be taken up by the PGC.
This is a prescribe mechanisms that exists; only a few people know about it. Worse, only eighteen states have established PCAs through legislation or government orders: Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Meghalaya, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tripura, Orissa, Punjab, and Uttarakhand.
Accordant to the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), none of the state governments that have set up PCAs have complied with the court’s directive in itsintigrity. So, most PCAs suffer from a number of deficiencies including decreased powers, limited mandates and inadequate funding. Nevertheless, where do they exist, these PCAs provide an additional recourse for persons affected by police misconduct. Their structure and composition to some extent make them independent, though not totally so. Moreover, unlike other commissions, they exist exclusively to look at complaints against the police and have no other mandate.
Any Serious incontinence is any act or omission by a police officer that leads to or amounts to:
- Death in Police Custody
- Extortion by a police officer
- Land/House grabbing by a police officer; and
- Any incident involving serious abuse of authority by a police officer.
- Grievous hurt while in custody
- Rape in Police custody.
Lawful actions, which an individual can take on being harassed by a police officer in the above-mentioned manners:-
Their acetarious remedies available to a victim of police misconduct or abuse.
Any victim of police misuse Can register a First Information Report(FIR) against the barbarian officer at any police station;
If his allegation is not accepted (which is most often ) he can send the complaint to the District Superintendent of police who will then look into the matter and order the registration of the First Information Report.
If both these avenues do not produce a result to the victim, he can go to the nearest Magistrate and can register his complaint. The Magistrate will then order the police to register the Frist Information Report;
The Victim can even send his complaint to the NHRC or the State Human Rights Commission if there is one in his or her state.
Who can lodge a complaint?
PCA can investigate any serious misconduct against the police on its own or when it receives a complaint from:
- A victim or a person complaining on his behalf; this could a friend or a family member.
- Any person who has witnessed any misconduct being committed by the police; and
- Any other source.
Steps to file a complaint:
To file a complaint with the Authority you should contact first PCA for any prescribed format if any. Till now only Odisha has a specific prescribed format. The Person Can put a complaint by any way like writing and send it by Post or Fax or submit it in person. The complaint should be lodged as soon as possible after the incident taken.
The complaint should be in writing and must include the following details:
- Your Name
- Your Address
- Your Contact details/Phone numbers.
- What happened;
- When it happened;
- Against whom you are complaining about, which includes the name and destination of the police officer?
- What was said or done by that officer;
- Whether anyone else was there whilst the incident happened (witnessed) and how to contact them(if you this)
- If you were hurt or if anything got damaged
Some important and relevant document that you can attach along with your complaint, which will add more value to your complaint. The list of the documents is as mentioned below:-
- Photographs showing Injuries
- Any prior complaints lodged before the police or any other forum and evidence which shows that no steps have taken on these complaints.
- Proof of daily diary entry
- A medical report or any certificate issued by a doctor disclosing the nature of injuries;
If you give your complaint by hand, keep a copy of the complaint and the papers you have submitted, as well as date stamped receipt with you as a record. If you deliver your complaint by registered post, always ensure to send it by registered post AD. The acknowledgment receives received will give you proof of your application being sent by the respective Authority.
If after filing a complaint you aren’t a getting a reasonable hearing you can seek a review of the hearing and/or decision by invoking the writ jurisdiction of the High Courts under Article 226 of the Constitution. The principles of natural justice are the same for all.