Leader of the Opposition Sunil Jakhar has accused the Punjab government of misleading the Centre on notifying state-level and district-level police complaint authorities.
Jakhar, at a press conference here on Friday, said the state government had submitted an affidavit to the Thomas Committee on police reforms that had, in turn, included Punjab in its report along with other states for constituting the police complaint authorities. The states were also supposed to establish the police establishment board and the state security commission as part of the police reforms.
Jakhar, a Congress MLA, said the union home minister had submitted a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha on March 5 that Punjab was among the states which had these panels as per the Supreme Court directions and the Thomas Committee report.
"The Badal government totally lied to the union government as our state has no police complaint authority and other panels related to police reforms," Jakhar said.
He presented copies of the state home department's reply to an applicant under the Right To Information (RTI) Act, which stated that Punjab had not formed any police complaint authority so far.
Jakhar explained that the states were asked to form such district-level authorities where the public could complain against any erring officer up to the rank of deputy superintendent of police (DSP), while the state-level authority was supposed to entertain complaints against officers from the rank of superintendent of police (SP) to the director general of police (DGP).
The Punjab Police Act, 2007, has the provision under Chapter 8, titled 'Police Accountability', to notify police complaint authorities at the state and district levels.
When contacted, Punjab home secretary DS Bains said his office had submitted an affidavit to the Centre that "the state would comply with the directions for police reforms".
"We have the state police board as per the Punjab Police Act, 2007, that takes care of every aspect of police reforms," he added.