A court here has awarded 3-year jail term to a Delhi Police official for taking bribe from a family by threatening to implicate it in a false case. The court said that "corruption" and "misuse of power" are among the reasons for people avoiding the police.
Special Judge Kiran Bansal also imposed a fine of Rs 1.20 lakh on Assistant Sub Inspector Sube Singh, 59, saying that suitable punishment was required to create some deterrent effect.
The court refused to grant any leniency to the convict, saying the offence had wide ramification which caused victimization of public at large and had an impact on the society.
There is a general perception that the police do not behave properly towards complainants, witnesses and victims of crime, it said.
"Police response to most people approaching for service is perceived to be inadequate, insensitive, biased and delayed. Ordinary citizens often find it difficult to get cases registered without either bribing the police personnel or bringing some influence on them. Police is also perceived to be corrupt and partial.
"Such is the legacy and image of the police that a common man avoids approaching police station or seeking police help unless the circumstances are compelling," the court said in a recent order.
The court said the case was another example where by dialling 100 number, the family of the victim invited trouble instead of help.
"Corruption, lack of transparency, misuse of power and use of excessive force are some of the reasons for people avoiding or being scared of police. The present 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 against society of the kind which has been proved in this case," it said.
According to the complaint, on May 30, 2013, Mr Vishal and his wife had some altercation and thereafter, the woman threatened to commit suicide.
Mr Vishal had informed this fact to the police and after that Singh came to the spot and took the entire family to the police station.
The matter between the family was settled but the Singh demanded Rs 50,000 from Vishal and his father, threatening them to implicate in a case of abetment to commit suicide and also threatened them to send them to jail.
The convict was paid Rs 20,000 on May 31, 2013. However, the entire incident of taking bribe by Singh was videographed by Mr Vishal's friend and thereafter an FIR was lodged in this regard.
In its order, the court said that corruption corrodes the spine of a nation and eventuality makes its economy sterile.
"Corruption is an enemy of nation and tracking down corrupt public servant, howsoever high he may be, and punishing such person is a necessary mandate under the Prevention of Corruption Act. Every country feels a constant longing for good governance, righteous use of power and transparency in administration," the court said.
It said that the affairs of the State are conducted through its official and they are thus, trustee of powers on behalf of public at large.
"They are required to use these powers with utmost care and responsibility and when the powers are used against the public interest, the faith of the public gets reduced in the system of the government which is not a positive sign in democracy.
"As a member of Delhi Police, accused was expected to develop a strong ethical compass and not to let the temptations of power take him off course. The position of convict as ASI should have made him more responsible towards the society but he rather breached the trust," it said.
The prosecution had urged the court not to show any leniency to the accused, saying he was a member of police service and was responsible to implement the law since the police is considered to be protector of law.
The accused had sought leniency on the ground that he was the sole bread earner of the family and there was no one to look after his old ailing father, wife and youngest son.
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