On any offence committed by law enforcers such as police, one needs to follow the procedure mentioned below: A redressal mechanism that exists in 18 states have established Police Complaints Authorities (PCAs) through legislation or government orders. This exists in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Meghalaya, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tripura, Orissa, Punjab and Uttarakhand.
On any offence committed by law enforcers such as police, one needs to follow the procedure mentioned below:
A redressal mechanism that exists in 18 states have established Police Complaints Authorities (PCAs) through legislation or government orders. This exists in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Meghalaya, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tripura, Orissa, Punjab and Uttarakhand.
What can you complain about:
You can complain about any serious misconduct by the police to the state PCA. Serious misconduct is any act or omission by a police officer that leads to or amounts to:
- Death in police custody
- Grievous hurt sustained while in custody
- Rape in police custody
Complain can be lodged at a district PCA if it exists in your area:
- Extortion by a police officer
- Land/ house grabbing by a police officer
- Any incident involving serious abuse of authority by a police officer
Who can lodge a complaint:
In most cases, the PCA can enquire into allegations of 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 be a friend or a family member.
Any person who has witnessed any misconduct being committed by the police; and/or any other source (as in public interest litigation)
How you can file a complaint:
A person wishing to file a complaint with the authority should first contact the PCA office to obtain the prescribed format if any.
Till date, with the exception of Orissa, none of the authorities that are functioning have specified any particular format.
A sample template form is included in Annex III of this booklet. The person can put the complaint in writing and send it by post or fax or submit it in person.
The complaint should be made as soon as possible after the incident. The complaint should be in writing and must include:
- Your Name
- Your Address
- Your Contact details/
- Phone numbers
- What happened
- When it happened
- Who you are complaining about, which includes the name and designation of the police officer
- What was said or done
- Whether anyone else was present while the incident happened (witnesses) and how to contact them (if you know this)
- If you were hurt or if anything got damaged
Some important and relevant documents that can be attached along with the complaint are:
- Medical report or any certificate issued by a doctor disclosing the nature of injuries
- Photographs showing injuries
- Any prior complaints lodged before the police or any other proof and evidence which shows that no steps have been taken on these complaints
- Proof of daily diary entry (DDE)
- Any other evidence
If you hand deliver your complaint, keep a copy of the complaint and the papers you have submitted, as well as a date stamped receipt with you as a record.
What happens to the complaint:
For the purpose of the examination of the complaint/witnesses, the Authority has all the powers of a civil court which include:
a) Summoning and enforcing the attendance of any person and examining him under oath;
b) Requiring the discovery and production of any public document;
c) Receiving evidence on affidavit;
d) Requisitioning any public record or copy thereof from any court or office
e) Any other matter which may be prescribed
What can the Authority do:
After a careful review of all the evidence obtained during the investigation, the Authority will deliver a written order.
It could even be dismissal of the complaint on the following grounds:
Complaint fails to meet the mandate of the Authority.
Litigation regarding the subject matter of the complaint is already pending in a court of law.
There is insufficient evidence to support the complaint.
If, on the other hand, the enquiry establishes the misconduct of the police officer involved, the Authority shall make recommendations to the concerned Authority or the state government that Internal disciplinary proceedings are initiated against the police officer if he is found in breach of discipline or when an offence is made out; An FIR be registered if the police officer is found to have committed an offence; and Any other recommendation according to the facts and circumstances of the case.