Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) on Tuesday dismissed the plea of a 26-year-old Chandigarh Police constable, seeking to quash an order of punishment, issued against him after he was accused of taking Rs 300 bribe by harassing a man and his friend in 2012.
As per the reports of the Union Territory Police, applicant Constable Pardeep Kumar, along with Constable Rajesh Kumar, were on night patrol in Sector 20 in their private car on July 25, 2012. Complainant Divesh Parkash Rana alleged that while he was going to drop his friend Kavita at her paying guest accommodation at Sector 20, they were stopped and harassed by the police patrolling party. Rana then made a complaint in writing and informed the Police Control Room, following which a DDR was lodged in Sector 19 police station.
During the course of inquiry, besides the complaint of harassment, they also alleged that the patrolling party took a sum of Rs 300 as illegal gratification.
Following this, a regular departmental inquiry was ordered against Constables Pradeep and Rajesh. The inquiry officer held the duo guilty of the charges. Agreeing with the findings of the inquiry officer, the SSP, Chandigarh, served a show-cause notice proposing punishment of dismissal from service. Constable Pradeep submitted a reply to the show-cause notice, but the SSP (Security) being the disciplinary authority of Kumar, imposed a punishment of stoppage of 15 annual increments with permanent effect. Pradeep then filed an appeal before the DIG, Chandigarh, and as a consequence the punishment was reduced to stoppage of 10 annual increments with permanent effect.
Pradeep, in his petition in the tribunal, submitted that he has not taken the sum of Rs 300 from Rana and that it was Constable Rajesh who took money from the complainant. Rana had requested the Chandigarh Police to delete his name from the case by filing an affidavit in October 2012, stating that Constable Rajesh, who was on duty, had misbehaved and taken money from them, Pradeep further submitted. Thus the charge-sheet, inquiry report, show-cause notice and punishment order against him shall be quashed.
Advocate Arvind Moudgil, Chandigarh Police Nodal Officer, told the tribunal the revisionary authority had upheld the punishment. The tribunal observed that Constables Pradeep and Rajesh were doing duty together and hence Pradeep becomes a co-accused in the complaint made by Rana that illegal gratification was demanded of him. “…Integrity is a quality which is required to be exercised by a public servant at all times, even if applicant had only one year of service…”, read the tribunal judgement. The tribunal bench, thus dismissing the constable’s application, held that it can’t interfere with the quantum of punishment as the same is under the domain of the Disciplinary Authority and that the court cannot substitute their decision.