Punjab government yet to set up a police complaints authority
Reply to an application filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act has revealed that the Punjab government has not set up any police complaint authority. The reply was provided by the home and justice department of the state to the leader of opposition of Punjab, Sunil Jakhar, who had filed an application. He claimed that the woman who was beaten up by 6 policemen in full public view in Amritsar had to come to him seeking justice as there was no platform in the state where she could be heard against the policemen.
What has come as a surprise was the fact that the RTI reply is inconsistent with the answer of Home department of the Central government to a question by MP Jayant Chaudhary on March 5, 2013 regarding police reforms. As per the reply, an affidavit was filed by the Central Government on January 2, 2013 in the Supreme Court, regarding the police reform measures taken by various states. Punjab numbers among the list of states where a police complaints authority has been set up, apart from police establishment boards and state security commissions.
The RTI applicant has claimed that the chief minister is personally overseeing police officials' transfers while as per Supreme Court's directions, such powers should be vested in a Police Establishment Board.
The reason for such a contradiction remains obscure and it remains to be established whether the error was committed by the state government or the centre. The fact remains that the police reforms are yet to take place and a police establishment board, police complaints authority and state security commission has not been established in many states.