For not appearing before police complaint authority

The Kerala High Court on Thursday stayed further proceedings against Transport Commissioner Rishi Raj Singh on the basis of recommendations of the State Police Complaint Authority (SPCA) to initiate disciplinary action against him for not appearing before it in connection with the hearing of a complaint.

Justice P.R. Ramachandra Menon stayed the proceedings for two months. The stay order came on a petition filed by the Transport Commissioner challenging the recommendations made by the SPCA .

The authority had made the recommendations against Mr. Singh to the Chief Secretary for his failure to appear before it though he had been issued many summons. The complaint was filed by Welgate Video relating to raids conducted for seizing pirated CDs in 2006.

In his petition, Mr. Singh said the authority had never served any summons on him. It was unheard in civil jurisprudence that penal action was recommended in a civil matter for not responding to the summons.

In fact, the recommendation was made by the Chairman. It was not a full quorum decision or even a majority decision, he said.

He also contended that he was protected by Section 113 of the Kerala Police Act.

As per the section, there was total prohibition against prosecution of a police officer for action taken in good faith.

Besides, the authority had made the recommendations without hearing him.

The Transport Commissioner pointed out that he had to encounter many difficult situations when he started cracking down on sellers of pirated CDs through raids in 2006.

He had been removed from the post of nodal officer of the anti-piracy cell following a raid on Riyan Optical Disc owned by Anitha T .Thachankery in Kochi. He was restrained by the then DGP from conducting further raids on the studio.

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