HC upholds head constable dismissal

New Delhi: A policeman`s dismissal for taking a bribe of Rs 200 from plainclothes Vigilance sleuths to condone their alleged traffic rule violation, has been upheld by the Delhi High Court, which said such acts must be dealt with a "heavy hand".

A bench of justices B D Ahmed and V K Jain upheld the dismissal of Head Constable Mahender Singh, endorsing the July 2011 verdict of the Central Administrative Tribunal approving of the Delhi Police disciplinary authority`s order for his dismissal.

"The disciplinary authority in our view rightly observed that indulgence of a public servant in activities such as demanding and accepting money needs to be dealt with a heavy hand and retention of police officials indulging in such activities is undesirable and not warranted in public interest," said the bench.

"Considering the nature of the charge established against the petitioner, it cannot be said that the penalty imposed on him is wholly disproportionate to the charge proved against him or is such as to shock the conscience of the court," the bench said, dismissing Singh`s plea against his dismissal.

Mahender Singh had been removed from the service in 2009 after having been found, in a departmental probe, indulging in corrupt practises along with Constable Jagdish Singh.

While on duty at Aaya Nagar police picket in south Delhi on February 19, 2008, the duo had stopped a van of city police vigilance branch carrying Sub Inspector Sanjay Gupta and Head Constable Ranbir in their civil dress and threatened to issue a challan of Rs 1,200 to them for not wearing the seat belt.

As SI Gupta pleaded to Mahender against issuing the challan, the head constable asked for Rs 200 from him.

As Gupta gave him the money, another Vigilance Branch officer, Inspector Raj Singh, sitting in the van, videographed the head constable pocketing the money and lodged a formal vigilance compliant against him and Mahender Singh and constable Jagdish Singh were sacked after a due probe.

"We are in agreement with the view that a police official indulging into such corrupt activities should not be allowed to continue in service and needs to be weeded out from the police force," the bench said, endorsing Mahender Singh`s dismissal and dismissing his contention that the probe against him was held in violation of Delhi Police Act.