CORRUPTION THREATENS the very foundation of Indian democracy and the rule of law… corrupt police officers can be divided into two categories: meat eaters who aggressively misuse their police powers for personal gain, and grass eaters, who simply accept the payoffs.
This observation was made by the special CBI judge, ADJ Dr Sushil Kumar Garg, on Tuesday which sentenced the former Assistant Sub-Inspector of Chandigarh Police, Davinder Kumar, to four-year imprisonment in six-year-old corruption case.
While pronouncing the judgment, the CBI court held that “…corruption in our country not only poses a grave danger to the concept of constitutional governance, it also threatens the very foundation of Indian democracy and the rule of law. The magnitude of corruption in our public life is incompatible with the concept of a socialist, secular democratic republic. It cannot be disputed that where corruption begins all rights end. Corruption devalues human rights, chokes development and undermines justice, liberty, equality, fraternity which are the core values in our preambular vision. Therefore, the duty of the court is that any anti-corruption law has to be interpreted and worked out in such a fashion as to strengthen the fight against corruption. That is to say in a situation where two constructions are eminently reasonable, the Court has to accept the one that seeks to eradicate corruption to the one which seeks to perpetuate it (sic)….”
The court further held that “…corrupt police officers can be divided into two categories: (1) Meat eaters, who aggressively misuse their police powers for personal gain, and (2) grass eaters, (who) simply accept the payoffs that the happenstances of police work throw their way. Police corruption affects society, including political, economical and sociological. The social aspect perhaps easiest to define, because even one corrupt officer in a department can generate and overall distrust of the department (sic). The cancer of corruption in police is 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….”
While the convict pleaded for leniency, public prosecutor Kanwar Pal Singh 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.
The court thus sentenced Davinder Kumar to four-year imprisonment and also imposed a fine of Rs 40,000 on him.
The case dates back to May 30, 2013, when the CBI team arrested the accused ASI, who was posted at the Sector 19 police station, for accepting a bribe of Rs 3,500. The complainant, Amandeep Singh, had stated to the CBI that he had a fake note of Rs 500, which he gave to a shopkeeper in Sector 20. On realising the fraud, the shopkeeper took Amandeep to the Sector 19 police station where ASI Kumar was the investigating officer. Although the ASI did not register a complaint against Amandeep, he allegedly threatened to file a case against him and eventually demanded a bribe of Rs 5,000. However, he finally settled for Rs 3,500. Later, Kumar was arrested by the CBI.