On a petition seeking removal of a former adviser to the Chandigarh administrator, Pardeep Mehra, from the post of chairman of the Police Complaints Authority (PCA), the Punjab and Haryana high court has issued notices to the Chandigarh administration as well as to Mehra for filing their replies.
The orders came from the division bench comprising chief justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and justice Arun Palli on Wednesday on a public interest litigation filed by advocate HC Arora and RTI activist RK Garg.
Mehra was appointed as PCA chairperson on November 8 last year by the UT administration. The petitioners had submitted that the names for filling up the post were cleared by the Chandigarh deputy commissioner, inspector general of police and home secretary. Though Mehra's name was not in the list cleared by the UT home secretary, his name was finally approved by the administrator.
The court was informed that the adviser/ administrator did not even seek a panel of names of retired judges from the chief justice of the Punjab and Haryana high court, in violation of the directions issued by the Supreme Court in the Parkash Singh's case.
As per the apex court's judgment in the case 'Prakash Singh and others vs Union of India and others', the state governments are bound to constitute the PCAs at district as well as state level and recommendations of PCAs for any action, departmental or criminal, against a delinquent police officer shall be binding on the authorities concerned.
The petitioners also alleged that the centrals government's notification of March 23, 2010, virtually discouraged the retired judges from accepting the post of chairperson, as it specified the salary payable to the chairman as Rs 40,000 per month instead of allowing such chairperson to draw salary last drawn as judge of high court/ Supreme Court minus pension being drawn as retired judge.
The petitioners also sought quashing of March 2010 notification. The case would now come up for hearing on February 18.