Additional director general of police (ADGP) Jasminder Singh, a 1986-batch Indian Police Service (IPS) officer of the Punjab cadre, took his official car on a private visit on December 2, but when it met with an accident, he kept the matter under wraps and got it repaired clandestinely without informing his superiors, an HT investigation has revealed.
Though it has been nearly three weeks since Jasminder’s white Innova met with an accident near Channo village in Sangrur district, he has still not officially brought the matter to the notice of the police department.
On his own, he deputed deputy superintendent of police DSP Rajinder Singh Sohal to get his vehicle repaired at Rajpura. Meanwhile, he managed to get another vehicle allocated under his name from the CLP (central police lines), which he has been using since the accident.
Immediately after the accident, Jasminder even pressurised assistant sub-inspector (ASI), Channo police post, Subhash Kumar not to register a daily diary report (DDR) or an FIR regarding the accident.
As per Punjab Police Rules, 1934, a police officer cannot use an official vehicle for private use.
If it is used for the purpose, the officer must inform the head of the department or the provisioning and transport department before taking the vehicle for the private visit.
In case of an accident, it is mandatory to bring it to the notice of the head of the department so that a detailed inquiry could be conducted to know the cause of the same.
The provisioning and transport department had conducted a detailed inquiry last year when the official Innova of then Pathankot SSP Surinder Kumar Kalia met with an accident near Mukerian on September 22, 2013. Kalia was using the official vehicle on a private visit.
Inquiries revealed that Jasminder, along with his family, was heading for Barnala to attend a funeral ceremony on December 2, the day deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal conducted a surprise check at the police headquarters here to ascertain the punctuality of police officers.
When Sukhbir inquired about Jasminder, DGP Sumedh Singh Saini showed him the text message on his mobile phone that the ADGP had gone to attend a private ceremony. Sukhbir told the DGP to tell Jasminder to carry on with his visit and need not come back to the police headquarters.
Jasminder had a miraculous escape when his vehicle skidded off the road after the driver tried to get out of the way of a scooterist. His family, including his mother, sustained minor injuries.
DSP Sohal confirmed that the ADGP’s vehicle was still being repaired at Rajpura and said it would only take a few days’ work. Subhash said he reached the accident site, but since the area did not fall under his jurisdiction, he did not act. Subhash said the area where the accident occurred falls under Bhawanigarh police station in Sangrur district.
Bhawanigarh SHO Sukhminder Singh Chohan said he was on leave the day the accident occurred and hence could not have acted in this case.
The IGP, provisioning and transport, Parveen Kumar Sinha, said he came to know only last week about Jasminder using the CLP vehicle but he was not aware of the accident in which the ADGP’s official vehicle was being used.
“As per the rules in such cases, an inquiry has to be ordered by the head of the department concerned. But now, since the ADGP himself is the head of the IT department, only an officer senior to him can act in this case,” said Sinha.