The special CBI court of Chandigarh on Tuesday sentenced a Sub-Inspector of Chandigarh Police to four-year imprisonment and imposed Rs 40,000 fine on him for accepting a bribe of Rs 35,000 from a resident of Panchkula in 2015.
The convict, S-I Balbir Singh, was held guilty by the court of Additional District and Sessions Judge, Dr Sushil Kumar Garg, under sections 7 and 13 (2) read with 13 (1) (d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
On Tuesday seeking a lenient view on punishment, Balbir stated that he had an unblemished record of service before registration of present case. He has two sons and two married daughters. His younger son is preparing for the judiciary but is suffering from depression and is undergoing treatment. There is no one to look after his wife and two sons. Thus, Balbir requested for leniency in awarding punishment to him.
The CBI public prosecutor, Kanwar Pal Singh, however, argued that in order to check rampant corruption in public life, it is the need of the hour to give exemplary punishment to the public servant, who is found indulging in corrupt practices. Taking a lenient view in such matters would send a wrong message.
While pronouncing the final order, the court observed, “…Police corruption is a form of police misconduct in which law enforcement officer abused their power for personal gain…Police officers have several opportunities to gain personally from their status and authority as Law Enforcement Officer…”
“…Bribery among police officials is one of the most common acts of corruption. Police corruption affects society. Even one corrupt officer in a department can generate overall distrust of the department. The cancer of corruption in police very often jeopardizes constitutional governance and acts as catalyst in the violation of civil and human rights of the citizens. Therefore, to curb the menace of corruption in the society, strict action is required against such police official who generates the distrust amongst the civilian against police department…”, read the judgment. The court awarded four-year imprisonment to the convict and fined him Rs 40,000.
According to the CBI, the case dates back to March 17, 2015, when Sushil Kumar, a Panchkula resident, told the CBI that he was a witness to a marriage which was solemnised in a temple in Panchkula in July 2014, between Rekha and Sromit. However, as the couple had some matrimonial dispute, the woman made a complaint in Manimajra police station against her husband and also against him. The inquiry in the matter was marked to Sub-Inspector Balbir Singh of Manimajra police station, who demanded Rs 50,000 from him to exonerate him of the charges in the complaint. Finally, the deal was struck for Rs 35,000. After this, a trap was laid by the CBI and the accused was arrested.
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