Online edition of India's National Newspaper
Saturday, Nov 05, 2005
Google



New Delhi
News: Front Page | National | Tamil Nadu | Andhra Pradesh | Karnataka | Kerala | New Delhi | Other States | International | Opinion | Business | Sport | Miscellaneous | Engagements |
Advts:
Classifieds | Employment | Obituary |

New Delhi Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Corruption is rampant

Greedy, unscrupulous officials do not deserve to be treated with the slightest leniency, says Prashant Pandey

Two recent incidents in which sub-inspectors of the Delhi police have allegedly been found demanding and accepting bribes from people after threatening to implicate them in murder cases indicate that corruption at the grassroots is quite rampant in the Capital. Going by public indignation over the two cases, such greedy and unscrupulous officials do not deserve to be treated with the slightest leniency.

To recall the incident reported on Thursday, a sub-inspector was caught on spy camera by an English television news channel while allegedly accepting bribe for releasing the body of a 34-year-old man who had committed suicide. The accused had already pocketed Rs. 11,000 by threatening the mother of the deceased that he would change the suicide case into one of murder. And then he demanded another Rs. 15,000 after which someone from the hapless family informed the television news channel. As soon as the footage went on the air, the police officer was suspended and the process of dismissing the accused was initiated. The other incident - reported from Bhajanpura in North-East Delhi - gives enough indication of just how well set the "system" of corruption is. A sub-inspector was investigating a murder incident. He contacted a furniture merchant during investigations and asked him to cough up Rs. 1 lakh or be prepared to see his name in the list of the accused. He even asked him to deliver a sofa set, costing around Rs. 30,000, at his home and assured that he would have to pay only Rs. 70,000 after that. And for collecting the bribe, he sent his conduit who was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation.

While the accused in these two cases have been punished now that they have come to light, many such cases go unreported. In these two cases too, the first instalment of the bribe - either in cash or kind - had already been paid. If the accused had not asked for more, there was little possibility of the victims complaining.

Of course, not every police officer is out to make money by threatening people to implicate them in false cases. But these are not "aberrations" also. Every year the anti-corruption branches of the Delhi Government and the CBI catch several such officials.

There is always a pattern to such cases. An incident occurs, a case is registered, and investigations are taken up. The investigating officer questions a number of people in connection with the case and then targets somebody who would be able to pay a handsome amount. And then he threatens him. The person, in a bid to protect his reputation and even his livelihood, pays up. The anti-corruption branch comes into the picture only as a last resort when the demand is increased.

And this is true of not only murder cases but other incidents also. In fact, such greedy officers know that any one would first like to get out of trouble any way. So they "create the trouble" and extract money.

For a long time now various elite commissions and eminent experts have been suggesting better monitoring of investigating officers and separating investigation from law and order duties as possible measures against such unscrupulous officials. But to keep waiting for the vital reforms to happen and hope that things will then fall in place overnight would be expecting too much. These officials need to be told that they have been entrusted by the law of the land to help the judiciary in dispensing justice to the victims in society. It is with this trust that the policemen are given some privileges and immunity that an ordinary citizen does not have. But, like in these two cases, if they continue to betray the trust, there is little reason why they should not be prosecuted, like any other ordinary citizen, for blackmail, criminal intimidation and criminal conspiracy. Apart from being dismissed from service.

Printer friendly page  
Send this article to Friends by E-Mail



New Delhi

News: Front Page | National | Tamil Nadu | Andhra Pradesh | Karnataka | Kerala | New Delhi | Other States | International | Opinion | Business | Sport | Miscellaneous | Engagements |
Advts:
Classifieds | Employment | Obituary | Updates: Breaking News |


News Update


The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | The Sportstar | Frontline | The Hindu eBooks | The Hindu Images | Home |

Copyright 2005, The Hindu. Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu