Skip to main content
Sabrang
Sabrang
Rule of Law

How do you police the police – a User’s Guide provides some answers

CJP Team 15 Oct 2019

A User Guide on How To Complain Against Maharashtra Police Now Available, Courtesy CHRI




The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative(CHRI)has released a recently prepared User Guide on the Maharashtra’s Police Complaints Authorities or PCAs. These authorities were established to inquire into complaints by the public against police personnel, including grievances as to serious misconduct, corruption, and abuse of authority.

The whole issue of a Police Complaints Authority has evolved after decades’ long struggle by rights groups and sections of the police form for police reform. Communalism Combat was at the forefront of this campaign in the 1990s-2000s and https://cjp.org.in/category/criminal-law-reform/police-reforms/Citizens for Justice and Peace(CJP) now.

The PCAs were established in Maharashtra in 2014. Theyhave been set up at two levels; there is one at the state level and six at the divisionallevel in Nashik, Pune, Aurangabad, Nagpur, Amravati and Konkan.The PCAs were founded through amendments made to the state Police Act passedthrough the Maharashtra Police (Amendment and Continuance) Act, 2014.
As per the User Guide, PCAs, whether state and divisional, have the following powers:
 
  1. To conduct inquiries suomotu or through complaints against Police Officers, hear all concerned persons, receive evidence, and giverecommendations to be implemented by the police department and the state government;
  2. To advise the state government to ensure the protection of witnesses, victims and their familieswho face, or may face, threats or harassment for filing a complaint against the police;
  3. To visit any police station, lock-up or other place of detention used by the police (with written authorisationfrom the Chairperson).
PCAs have the power to receive complaints involving death in police custody, grievous hurt under Section 320 of the IPC, rape or attempt to commit rape, arrest or detention without following procedure, corruption, extortion, land or house grabbing and any other serious violation of law or abuse of authority.

Since the primary function of PCAs is to strengthen police accountability, the User Guide notes that the public can push the police to fulfil their role as police accountability bodies by seeking assistance of these PCAs. For this, it is imperative for the people to begin understanding PCA-related mandates and powers.

With this in mind, the CHRIGuide explains and provides information about what PCAs do, how they work, thetypes of complaints you can make to them, the process to make complaints, the rights ofcomplainants and witnesses, and the kind of remedies you can expect from them.

The User Guide answers all potential queries to approaching a PCA, including:
 
  • Who can file a complaint to the PCA?
  • How do a complaint be filed?
  • What steps will the PCA take after my complaint is filed?
  • How does the PCA conduct an inquiry?
  • How will PCAs conduct hearings?
  • How does a PCA take decisions?
  • Who implements the PCA’s order?
  • How does the PCA maintain transparency?
The User Guide can be accessed here.

 
Related Articles:
  1. Reforms now!
  2. Julio Ribeiro in Conversation with Teesta Setalvad (English)
  3. My Ancestors were Freedom Fighters, I will not let my Grief tear the Nation apart Son killed in Asansol riots, Imam Imdadul Rashidi appeals against violence and vengeance
 
 

How do you police the police – a User’s Guide provides some answers

A User Guide on How To Complain Against Maharashtra Police Now Available, Courtesy CHRI




The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative(CHRI)has released a recently prepared User Guide on the Maharashtra’s Police Complaints Authorities or PCAs. These authorities were established to inquire into complaints by the public against police personnel, including grievances as to serious misconduct, corruption, and abuse of authority.

The whole issue of a Police Complaints Authority has evolved after decades’ long struggle by rights groups and sections of the police form for police reform. Communalism Combat was at the forefront of this campaign in the 1990s-2000s and https://cjp.org.in/category/criminal-law-reform/police-reforms/Citizens for Justice and Peace(CJP) now.

The PCAs were established in Maharashtra in 2014. Theyhave been set up at two levels; there is one at the state level and six at the divisionallevel in Nashik, Pune, Aurangabad, Nagpur, Amravati and Konkan.The PCAs were founded through amendments made to the state Police Act passedthrough the Maharashtra Police (Amendment and Continuance) Act, 2014.
As per the User Guide, PCAs, whether state and divisional, have the following powers:
 
  1. To conduct inquiries suomotu or through complaints against Police Officers, hear all concerned persons, receive evidence, and giverecommendations to be implemented by the police department and the state government;
  2. To advise the state government to ensure the protection of witnesses, victims and their familieswho face, or may face, threats or harassment for filing a complaint against the police;
  3. To visit any police station, lock-up or other place of detention used by the police (with written authorisationfrom the Chairperson).
PCAs have the power to receive complaints involving death in police custody, grievous hurt under Section 320 of the IPC, rape or attempt to commit rape, arrest or detention without following procedure, corruption, extortion, land or house grabbing and any other serious violation of law or abuse of authority.

Since the primary function of PCAs is to strengthen police accountability, the User Guide notes that the public can push the police to fulfil their role as police accountability bodies by seeking assistance of these PCAs. For this, it is imperative for the people to begin understanding PCA-related mandates and powers.

With this in mind, the CHRIGuide explains and provides information about what PCAs do, how they work, thetypes of complaints you can make to them, the process to make complaints, the rights ofcomplainants and witnesses, and the kind of remedies you can expect from them.

The User Guide answers all potential queries to approaching a PCA, including:
 
  • Who can file a complaint to the PCA?
  • How do a complaint be filed?
  • What steps will the PCA take after my complaint is filed?
  • How does the PCA conduct an inquiry?
  • How will PCAs conduct hearings?
  • How does a PCA take decisions?
  • Who implements the PCA’s order?
  • How does the PCA maintain transparency?
The User Guide can be accessed here.

 
Related Articles:
  1. Reforms now!
  2. Julio Ribeiro in Conversation with Teesta Setalvad (English)
  3. My Ancestors were Freedom Fighters, I will not let my Grief tear the Nation apart Son killed in Asansol riots, Imam Imdadul Rashidi appeals against violence and vengeance
 
 

Related Articles

Sunday

03

Jan

Pan-India

Saturday

05

Dec

05 pm onwards

Rise in Rage!

North Gate, JNU campus

Thursday

26

Nov

10 am onwards

Delhi Chalo

Pan India

Theme

Stop Hate

Hate and Harmony in 2021

A recap of all that transpired across India in terms of hate speech and even outright hate crimes, as well as the persecution of those who dared to speak up against hate. This disturbing harvest of hate should now push us to do more to forge harmony.
Taliban 2021

Taliban in Afghanistan: A look back

Communalism Combat had taken a deep dive into the lives of people of Afghanistan under the Taliban regime. Here we reproduce some of our archives documenting the plight of hapless Afghanis, especially women, who suffered the most under the hardline regime.
2020

Milestones 2020

In the year devastated by the Covid 19 Pandemic, India witnessed apathy against some of its most marginalised people and vilification of dissenters by powerful state and non state actors. As 2020 draws to a close, and hundreds of thousands of Indian farmers continue their protest in the bitter North Indian cold. Read how Indians resisted all attempts to snatch away fundamental and constitutional freedoms.
Migrant Diaries

Migrant Diaries

The 2020 COVID pandemic brought to fore the dismal lives that our migrant workers lead. Read these heartbreaking stories of how they lived before the pandemic, how the lockdown changed their lives and what they’re doing now.

Campaigns

Sunday

03

Jan

Pan-India

Saturday

05

Dec

05 pm onwards

Rise in Rage!

North Gate, JNU campus

Thursday

26

Nov

10 am onwards

Delhi Chalo

Pan India

Videos

Communalism

Hate Speech is rampant while Free speech is criminalised | Teesta Setalvad

Eminent speakers like Justice Anjana Prakash, Saba Naqvi expressed grave concerns over the draconian laws, used to put down the struggles of the labouring masses and the manner in which the law enforcement have been taking down students, academicians, political and human rights activists, artists, Dalits, Muslims and tribal people.

Communalism

Hate Speech is rampant while Free speech is criminalised | Teesta Setalvad

Eminent speakers like Justice Anjana Prakash, Saba Naqvi expressed grave concerns over the draconian laws, used to put down the struggles of the labouring masses and the manner in which the law enforcement have been taking down students, academicians, political and human rights activists, artists, Dalits, Muslims and tribal people.

IN FACT

Analysis

Stop Hate

Hate and Harmony in 2021

A recap of all that transpired across India in terms of hate speech and even outright hate crimes, as well as the persecution of those who dared to speak up against hate. This disturbing harvest of hate should now push us to do more to forge harmony.
Taliban 2021

Taliban in Afghanistan: A look back

Communalism Combat had taken a deep dive into the lives of people of Afghanistan under the Taliban regime. Here we reproduce some of our archives documenting the plight of hapless Afghanis, especially women, who suffered the most under the hardline regime.
2020

Milestones 2020

In the year devastated by the Covid 19 Pandemic, India witnessed apathy against some of its most marginalised people and vilification of dissenters by powerful state and non state actors. As 2020 draws to a close, and hundreds of thousands of Indian farmers continue their protest in the bitter North Indian cold. Read how Indians resisted all attempts to snatch away fundamental and constitutional freedoms.
Migrant Diaries

Migrant Diaries

The 2020 COVID pandemic brought to fore the dismal lives that our migrant workers lead. Read these heartbreaking stories of how they lived before the pandemic, how the lockdown changed their lives and what they’re doing now.

Archives