Punjab News Hc directs removal of tainted cops


Staff member
Chandigarh October 20:

In a significant direction aimed at cleansing the police force of tainted cops, the Punjab and Haryana High Court today directed the removal of police officials convicted for criminal offences.

The Bench of Acting Chief Justice MM Kumar and Justice Rajiv Narain Raina also stayed the operation of a circular issued by the Punjab Director General of Police on May 18, 2010. The DGP, vide the circular, had directed all appointing authorities in the Police department not to remove police officials convicted for criminal offence for which the sentence announced under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) was less than three years. The DGP had also recommended a lenient view against them.

The directions came on a PIL filed by advocate HC Arora. The petitioner had earlier contended that Rule 16.2 (2) of the Punjab Police Rules provides that “an enrolled police officer convicted and sentenced to imprisonment on a criminal charge shall be dismissed, provided that in case the conviction of a police officer is set aside in appeal or revision, the officer empowered to appoint him shall review his case keeping in view the instructions issued by the government in this behalf”. He contended provision for taking a lenient view in such cases was not there under Rule 16.2(2).

The petitioner also mentioned 20 police officials retained in service by giving them the benefit of the circular, despite conviction for criminal offences, including for theft, wrongful confinement, causing death by negligence, electoral offences, or possessing poppy straw. The petitioner had also furnished the names of 17 police officials convicted for offences for which the prescribed sentence was more than three years. They have been retained in service on spacious ground that their appeal against conviction is pending, and they have been granted bail, the petitioner contended.

He added the retention of police officials in service on ground of pendency of appeal or suspension of sentence was against Supreme Court judgments and even instructions issued by the Punjab Government. Taking a serious view of the matter, the Bench directed all police officials convicted for criminal offences be removed from service by taking action against them under Rule 16.2 (2) of the Punjab Police Rules, and by disregarding the impugned circular.

The Bench further directed the Home Secretary to file an affidavit on the next date of hearing - November 2 - that no convicted police official, except in whose case the conviction itself has been stayed in appeal, is in service of the Police Department in Punjab.