PIL seeks setting up of police complaints authority in TN

Chennai,Dec 3 (PTI) An advocate has approached the Madras high court to direct the state government to immediately set up a police complaints authority at state and districts level as mandated by the Supreme court to secure justice for victims of police harassment in the state.

A division bench of Justices M Sathyanarayanan and R Hemalatha posted the PIL filed by advocate A P Suryaprakasam for further hearing to January 20.

When the petition came up, advocate general Vijay Narayan informed the court that the state government has already set up the Police Complaints Authority on November 14, 2019.

The secretary in-charge of the Home department is the chairperson of the state police complaints authority and DGP and additional DGP are its members.

The district police complaints authority is headed by the district collector and superintendent of police and seniormost additional superintendent of police are its members, he added.

Opposing the same, counsel for the petitioner submitted that the state government cannot set up such authority because the state police complaints authority should be headed by a retired judge of the high court and district police complaints authority should be headed by a retired district judge.

Even, in Puducherry, a retired high court judge has been appointed as chairperson of the authority, he added.

According to Suryaprakasam, of late there was a sudden spurt in the offences being committed by the men in uniform.

Previously not much was known about the atrocities committed on the helpless citizens in Tamil Nadu but in view of advancing technology, the next minute people were able to see such atrocities though social media, he submitted.

But in all such cases the response of the higher officials was lacking and in most cases, the helpless victims have to wait patiently for years together to get justice from the top officials of the state police, counsel said.

The lethargic attitude also in most cases help the delinquent officials get their promotion in the meantime and also reap the benefit, he submitted.

In 2006, the Supreme court in the Prakash Singh case mandated constitution of the Police Complaints Authority.

'But even after a lapse of more than 13 years, the state government wantonly and willfully failed to constitute the Police Complaints Authority while all the neighbouring states seems to have constituted it in their respective states to assist the innocent victims to secure justice for their suffering.

If the state government forms such authority headed by a retired judge of this court, and district level committees headed by a retired district judge that will not only provide speedy and swift justice but also enhance the confidence of the victims in the grievances redressal system,' Suryaprakasam added. PTI COR BN BN BN