20,000 bribe

HAPPY WITH DENGUE FIGHT, CM CLAIMS CASES IN CITY DOWN, NOT A SIN­GLE LIFE LOST THIS YEAR | 11 Court Says Per­cep­tion Of Cor­rup­tion And Par­tial­ity Shakes Peo­ple’s Faith In Sys­tem

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times City - [email protected] times­group.com THE TIMES OF IN­DIA, NEW DELHI | TUES­DAY, OC­TO­BER 8, 2019

New Delhi: Cor­rup­tion, lack of trans­parency, mis­use of power and use of ex­ces­sive force are a few rea­sons why peo­ple avoid or are scared of po­lice. A spe­cial court noted this while award­ing rig­or­ous im­pris­on­ment of three years and a fine of Rs 1.2 lakh to a Delhi Po­lice of­fi­cer for ac­cept­ing a bribe in 2013.

Spe­cial Judge Ki­ran Bansal said the con­vict’s po­si­tion as an as­sis­tant sub-in­spec­tor (ASI) should have made him more re­spon­si­ble to­wards so­ci­ety. How­ever, the po­lice­man breached the trust. The or­der also high­lighted how or­di­nary cit­i­zens of­ten found it dif­fi­cult to get their cases reg­is­tered with­out ei­ther brib­ing po­lice or ex­ert­ing in­flu­ence on them.

While sen­tenc­ing ASI Sube Singh, who ac­cepted Rs 20,000 bribe from a fam­ily, the court said there was a gen­eral per­cep­tion of po­lice not be­hav­ing prop­erly with com­plainants, wit­nesses and vic­tims of crime. “The cur­rent case is an­other ex­am­ple where by di­alling 100, the fam­ily of Prem Prakash in­vited trou­ble in­stead of help,” said judge Bansal.

The turn of events stemmed from a call made to po­lice on May 31, 2013 about Prakash’s daugh­ter-in-law at­tempt­ing to com­mit sui­cide. Prakash’s fam­ily was al­legedly threat­ened by Singh to pay the bribe or face a case of abet­ment to sui­cide.

“Po­lice is also per­ceived to be cor­rupt and par­tial. Such is the legacy and im­age that a com­mon man avoids ap­proach­ing the po

Po­lice is also per­ceived to be cor­rupt and par­tial. Such is the legacy and im­age that a com­mon man avoids ap­proach­ing the po­lice sta­tion or seek­ing help un­less the cir­cum­stances are com­pelling

KI­RAN BANSAL |

lice sta­tion or seek­ing help un­less the cir­cum­stances are com­pelling,” the judge ob­served. This ob­ser­va­tion was used to ask why would Prakash’s fam­ily oth­er­wise go the po­lice sta­tion around 10am on May 31, 2013 if they weren’t un­der the fear of im­pli­ca­tion in a false case.

On June 21, 2013, po­lice re­ceived a com­plaint along with the CD of a video recorded from a hid­den cam­era show­ing Singh ac­cept­ing the bribe. Singh al­legedly de­manded Rs 50,000 from the fam­ily, but set­tled for Rs 20,000.

In his de­fense, Singh claimed that by the time he reached the place of in­ci­dent, the fam­ily had set­tled the dis­pute. He also claimed that he had no oc­ca­sion to de­mand a bribe. He ar­gued that the in­stru­ment used to record the video was not pro­duced by the com­plainant and the case was reg­is­tered with­out ver­i­fy­ing the con­tents of the CD.

Judge Bansal, how­ever, noted that that the ac­cused hold­ing cur­rency notes, cou­pled with the fact of Prakash’s re­quests with folded hands had clearly es­tab­lished that Singh had ac­cepted Rs 20,000. “The cur­rent case is also an ex­am­ple of no­ble cause cor­rup­tion, where the of­fi­cer be­lieves the good out­comes jus­tify bad be­hav­iour/cor­rup­tion and tries to set­tle the fam­ily dis­pute be­tween the hus­band and wife. The ac­cused be­ing a po­lice of­fi­cial was duty-bound to as­sist in the pro­tec­tion of so­ci­ety and not to com­mit an of­fence,” the court held.

“Af­fairs of the state are con­ducted through its of­fi­cials. Of­fi­cials of the state are, thus, trustee of pow­ers on be­half of the pub­lic at large. These of­fi­cials are re­quired to use the pow­ers with ut­most care and re­spon­si­bil­ity for when­ever such pow­ers are mis­used peo­ple lose faith in the sys­tem, which is not a pos­i­tive sign in a democ­racy,” judge Bansal noted.

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