Commissioner of Police Subodh Kumar Jaiswal has dismissed a police inspector from the force for allegedly accepting a bribe in Deonar on Wednesday.
In an order issued on Friday, Jaiswal used his powers under Article 311 of the Indian Constitution, noting that the “indisciplined and irresponsible” conduct of Inspector Datta Chaudhari had “besmirched the reputation of the police department”.
Section 2 (b) of the Article 311 empowers an authority to remove a public servant from service or reduce their rank without holding an inquiry after being satisfied with the evidence on hand.
Chaudhari, who was posted at Deonar police station, was trapped by the Maharashtra Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) on Wednesday while allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs 80,000 from a man he was investigating in a case of cheating.
The complainant and three other men had recently secured interim bail in the case. In its order, the Bombay City Civil and Sessions Court had also ordered the Assistant Commissioner of Police, Deonar Division, to “peruse the case diary and refrain from arresting the men without receiving a go-ahead from senior officials once sufficient grounds to do so were established”. Inspector Chaudhari had also recorded his written assent to comply with the order.
However, he is alleged to have called one of the accused and summoned him to the police station one night. According to the ACB, Chaudhari demanded a bribe of Rs 3 lakh to go easy while opposing the bail plea of the accused at the next hearing in court.
On Wednesday, Chaudhari was caught allegedly accepting the first instalment of the bribe.
Condemning Chaudhari’s “suspicious actions” in strong terms, the police commissioner noted in his order that it would be against public interest to have him continue as a public servant and that it would be pointless to conduct a departmental inquiry and present him an opportunity to defend himself.
Deven Bharti, Joint Commissioner of Police, Law and Order, confirmed that Chaudhari had been dismissed from service with immediate effect.
In a previous instance of the Mumbai Police Commissioner invoking the Constitutional provision, Constable Dharmaraj Kalokhe was dismissed by then Commissioner Rakesh Maria after allegedly being found in possession of 112 kilos of a substance the police claim was the drug Mephedrone.