The Madras High Court Bench here has dismissed a petition by a head constable against reduction in time scale of pay by three stages for taking bribe from a retired school teacher and a real estate broker though both of them turned hostile during inquiry.
Justice S Manikumar,dismissing the petition filed by head constable P Shanmugam,Tennali station in Karur district,said “the deposition of the two victims that they had wrongly accused the head constable during a preliminary inquiry as they were under the influence of alcohol is unbelievable.”
The judge said that the Head constable another constable Rajkumar had been accused of visiting Thondukalipalayam village on Jul 10,2005 and demanded bribe from the two victims for sparing them in a false gambling case against them.
The Additional Superintendent of Police visited the village the next day and conducted a preliminary inquiry into the alleged receipt of bribe. The two victims asserted that the Head Constable and Constable had threatened to foist a false case of gambling against them and hence they paid the money to escape the embarrassment.
But during the departmental inquiry by a SP the victims turned a volte-face and said that some other individuals might have taken money from them in the guise of policemen.
SP held the petitioner guilty on the basis of evidence adduced by other witnesses including the Additional Superintendent of Police and dismissed him from service,though they turned hostile later.
On appeal,The Deputy Inspector General of Police,Tiruchi Range,reduced the punishment to reduction in time scale of pay after considering the petitioner’s long service of 21 years.
The judge said that the petitioner’s involvement was easily discernible in view of the fact that the other constable Rajkumar had accepted his guilt and also the penalty imposed on him. There would be no necessity for an Additional Superintendent of Police to visit a village for inquiry if the incident was totally without any basis,the judge said.