PSARA Act stands for Private Security Agencies Regulation Act, 2005. The Act regulates all the activities that the private security agencies perform. As per Section 4 of the Act, persons or private security agencies must obtain a PSARA license to carry out private security business. PSARA License is issued by the state Controlling Authority. The License can be obtained by any company, LLP, a partnership firm. With the increase in the economy, it is essential to ensure that internal security and private security are considered viable alternative to traditional police performing non-critical functions. However, the Authority, on any violation or non-compliance of the PSARA Act provisions, the Authority can order for Suspension or cancellation of PSARA license.
Suspension and Cancellation of PSARA License
The Controlling Authority can do suspension and cancellation of PSARA License under Section 13(1) of the Act on the following grounds:
- The License is obtained by misrepresenting or suppressing material facts; it amounts to suspension or cancellation of the PSARA License.
- The License is obtained by violating any provisions under the PSARA Act, 2005 or has breached any License condition; the Controlling Authority has the power to do the suspension or cancellation of PSARA License.
- The License is obtained by producing false documents or photographs.
- If the license holder has misused any information acquired while discharging his duties, as Private Security Agency to any industry or company or a person.
- The license holder is impersonating or aiding or abetting anyone to impersonate as a public servant; this would amount to the PSARA License suspension and cancellation.
- The license holder has failed to provide services to anyone, to what he agreed upon; the PSARA License would be suspended or cancelled.
- When the private security agencies have failed to commence their activities or engage a supervisor within a specified period, this will result in suspension or cancellation of the PSARA License.
- The license holder violates any provision of the Act given in Schedule or modified by the Central Government by notifying it in the official gazette; it would result in suspension or cancellation of PSARA License.
- When the license holder has done some act which is a threat to national security or didn’t provide assistance or coordinated to the police or other Authority, during the discharge of its duties, it will result in suspension or cancellation of PSARA License.
- If the license holder is in violation of any court order or an order from lawful Authority and has given advice or encourage any person to violate any such order, in this case, the controlling Authority will suspend or cancel its PSARA License.
- When the private security guard repeatedly has:
- Found guilty of gross negligence in providing security.
- Committed breach of trust or misappropriated the property or a part of it, of which they were supposed to protect.
- Guard found to be a habitually drunk or indiscipline.
- Guard found to be involved in crime.
- Guard had abetted rime against the person or property placed their charge.
The Controlling Authority can order for cancellation of PSARA License after giving reasons in writing. The Authority can also order for suspension of PSARA License for not more than 30 days. The license holder has to explain so as to why his/her suspension should not be extened till the determination of whether his/her licence be cancelled within fifteen days from the date of issue of the suspension order.
The Controlling Authority has to specify the reasons for suspension or cancellation of PSARA License in writing, and a copy of such order must be given to the affected person.
The concerned person must be given a reasonable opportunity of being heard by the Controlling Authority.
Conditions for Suspension and Cancellation of PSARA License
The following conditions must be fulfilled upon License cancellation:
- The Authority must give a reasonable opportunity of being heard to the license holder before suspension or cancellation of PSARA License.
- The license holder has to show causewhy his/her suspension should not be extened till the determination of whether his/her licence be cancelled within fifteen days from the date of issue of the suspension order.
Appeals under PSARA Act
An aggrieved person by the suspension or cancellation of the PSARA License by the Controlling Authority has two remedies in the form of appeal.
- An appeal can be made to the Home Secretary of the State Government, against the order, within 60 days from when such order is passed.
- An appeal can also be made after the expiry of 60 days if the State Government is satisfied with the explanation given within a sufficient period.
Appeal made under sub-section (1) of Section 13 of the Act must be made in a prescribed manner accompanied with a copy of the order. The State Government must give the appellant a reasonable opportunity of being heard.
Guidelines followed to avoid cancellation of PSARA License
MHA, after due consultation with all the Government and industry factions/ participants, all categories to be created and security establishments/ duties are classified therein.
- Create a framework so that PSAs can perform non-critical duties, allowing the police and other security forces to focus on internal security for citizens.
- Empower the PSAs to conduct quasi-internal security functions to assist police forces.
- To allow PSAs to conduct services beyond traditional security work that includes armed guard services.
- To allow PSAs to procure arms license and to store arms.
Thus, the Authority, on any violation or non-compliance of the PSRA Act provisions, can suspend or cancel the said License. The authority can revoke the license of the applicant. However, the applicant can appeal the grounds of cancellation of PSARA license.
Read our article: An Overview on PSARA License Renewal and Penalties