HC to UT: How have you curtailed PCA powers?
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SC judgment empowers Police Complaints Authority to give orders; UT has passed notification reducing it to a recommending body
The Chandigarh Administration's stiff opposition to implementation of "directions" by the Police Complaints Authority (PCA), on the ground that PCA can only recommend and not direct, was today questioned by the Punjab and Haryana High Court. Referring to a Supreme Court judgment which clearly stipulates that recommendations by the said authority would be a binding, the High Court today questioned the counsel for the Chandigarh Administration as to how have the powers of PCA been curtailed. Pointing out to the notification issued by the Administration at the time of constituting the PCA, the division bench asked the counsel to explain as to how has the powers of PCA been reduced only to a "recommending body".
Till now, the Administration has been opposing the "directions" of PCA on the ground that the "directions" are not a binding but are mere recommendations. Appearing on behalf of the Administration, its senior standing counsel, Sanjay Kaushal contended that the petitioner has not, till now, challenged the notification issued by the Administration. Kaushal sought time to respond to the query put by the High Court.
The development took place during the resumed hearing of a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Advocate Arvind Thakur. The petitioner had moved the High Court demanding powers for the PCA which has been made a "toothless tiger". Thakur has demanded that PCA should be given powers to pass directions to the Chandigarh Police so that its (PCA's) orders are implemented.
During the resumed hearing today Thakur's counsel Dhawal Bhandari produced a copy of the judgment issued by the Apex Court in 2006 titled Prakash Singh versus Union of India. The petitioner said that the relevant paragraph of the judgment makes it mandatory for the State Police to comply with the recommendations of the PCA and that the recommendations of PCA will be binding in nature.
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