Who is authorised to conduct an enquiry under SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act?
The appellant sought information regarding certain enquiries made by the Inquiry Officer under the SC/ ST Prevention of Atrocities Act on a complaint filed by appellant’s husband. The Public Information Officer (PIO) provided a copy of the enquiry report to the appellant.
During the hearing before the Central Information Commission (CIC), the appellant submitted that as per reply received from the respondent the enquiry into the complaint has been conducted by a Police Officer at the level of Sub Inspector (SI), whereas under the provisions of SC/ ST Prevention of Atrocities Act, enquiry can only be conducted by an Officer not below the rank of ACP. The appellant also submitted that the statements recorded during the course of enquiry of witnesses have not been enclosed. The respondent agreed to provide the appellant copies of statement of witnesses, if any, recorded during the enquiry. View of CIC
The Central Information Commission (CIC) directed the PIO to provide categorical reply to the appellant as to why the enquiry has been conducted by an officer of the rank of SI and not by ACP along with copies of statements of witnesses recorded. The Commission also directed the Deputy Commissioner of Police & First Appellate Authority (FAA) to look into the reasons why the complaint has not been enquired into by an Officer of the rank of ACP and inform the appellant. The Commission further held that the appellant’s allegation that he was not included in the enquiry and that his statement was not recorded also needs to be looked into and if need be, the complaint to be enquired into afresh by an Officer of the appropriate rank.
Citation: Mrs. Usha Paharia Aasiwal v. Delhi Police, in Case No. CIC/SS/A/2012/000613, CIC/SS/A/2012/000627
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2013/CIC/623
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