Delhiites want police scalp now

Over 400 complaints filed against men in khaki in just 10 months

 Chief minister Sheila Dikshit is not alone in airing her grievances against Delhi police. While she became earnestly vocal in her criticism of Delhi police after the December 16 gang rape, more than 400 Delhi residents have already lodged complaints against various Delhi police officials with the Public Grievances Commission (PGC) of Delhi government in 10 months of its inception.

Out of them, around one-tenth complaints are of a serious nature, and currently being inquired by Police Complaints Authority (PCA) –  a specialised wing of PGC that was constituted last April. 

“Ever since the authority was established, we have received lots of complaints but we entertain only the ones with very serious charges,” said a PCA officer, requesting anonimity.

“As a result, PCA has started and completed investigation in 33 complaints. In two complaints of abuse of authority which were upheld by our investigation, the Delhi Police commissioner has even initiated departmental inquires against two senior officers,” said a PCA official, requesting anonymity.

Serious charges

PCA only entertains complaints related to death in police custody, causing grievous hurt, committing rape or attempt to rape, arrest or detention without due process of law, extortion or land/ house grabbing or any other serious abuse of power provided the authority is prima facie satisfied with the veracity of the complaint.

The rest of complaints, such as police inaction in non-registration of FIR, delay in response and mental harassment are taken up by the PGC.

Delhi government is among few state governments that have constituted the PCA after the Supreme Court gave directions in this regard.

According to A S Awaradi, secretary, PGC, the aim behind constituting it is to have a non-police body look into complaints against police officials.

Otherwise a complaint reaches the same police station where the accused official is posted and nothing much comes out of it.

However, PCA has to seek police cooperation to discover whether the complaint is true or not.

“Yes, we approach the Delhi Police vigilance department (headquarters) which is unbiased unlike the district police which normally gives its report in favour of officials,” said Awaradi.

When asked what happens in case the police commissioner refutes the findings or suggested action, Awaradi said the commissioner has to state the reasons in writing and send them to the lieutenant governor.

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