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Make police plaints authority free from cops: House panel | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Taking a view that the police complaint authority, a state-level grievance redressal mechanism to inquire into complaints of police misconduct, should be independent from the state police, a parliamentary standing committee has recommended that it should comprise retired HC judges, ex-bureaucrats and jurists as members, besides having representation of women.
The department-related standing committee on ministry of home affairs, chaired by Congress MP Anand Sharma, noted that 31 states and UTs had constituted police complaint authorities at the state and district levels, most of which are manned by senior police officers. However, there exist some exceptions with Odisha having conferred the functions of police complaint authority on Lokpal and Punjab posting a retired chief secretary-level officer as head of its central police complaint authority.
The panel, in its report on ‘police training, modernisation and reforms’ tabled in Parliament on Thursday, said a police complaint authority should be established outside the police force. It accordingly recommended that MHA along with law ministry urge the states to appoint independent members like retired judges, former civil servants and police officers in the authority, which should also have representation of women.
The committee also recommended that BPR&D assess effectiveness of the independent police complaint authority in the states by checking whether the complaints against police personnel have gone up or reduced, types of complaints received and action taken. It also asked MHA to advise the states so that the internal grievance redressal cell of the police works in a time-bound manner.
The committee noted with concern the 21% shortfall in actual strength of state police forces, and recommended that MHA advise states and UTs to conduct recruitment drives in a mission mode. Also lamenting the 10.3% representation of women in the police, it told MHA to advise the states/UTs to increase it to 33%.
The panel expressed “grave concern” on the use of drones to commit crimes and transport drugs and arms, particularly in Punjab and J&K which share international border with Pakistan. Accordingly, it recommended that MHA create a central pool of anti-drone technology and give states/UTs access to it.

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