More than three years after the Supreme Court ordered police reforms, the home ministry on Thursday told all Union Territories to set up a Police Complaints Authority to inquire into allegations of “serious misconduct” including abuse of authority.
The ministry’s Union Territory Division — that had been dragging its feet on grounds that it could not come up with the same format for the authority for UTs of different sizes — however, got moving after P. Chidambaram’s directions.
Police complaint authorities of Daman & Diu, Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Lakshadweep will be a one member authority. Puducherry, Andaman & Nicobar Islands and Chandigarh will have a chairperson and two members. Delhi will have a
chairperson and three members.
The authority would have powers to inquire into allegations of abuse of power by the police and arrest without due process of law on its own or on receipt of a complaint.
The authority would complete its inquiries within 60 days. The UT administration can disregard the directions of the authority but would have to record its reasons in writing.