WHO SAYS policemen go unpunished for excesses and highhandedness? Last year alone, 226 errant policemen were dismissed or removed from service, according to data from the Police Headquarters (PHQ).
The figure appears high when compared with other government departments where dereliction of duty is not considered such a serious offence warranting dismissal while policemen are rather too easily terminated.
Mind you, removal from the service is not one-off — not just confined to one particular year. This year alone, the figure was 80 until May that takes the figure of removal to 306 cops in just 17 months. These included policemen of the rank of constable, head constable, Assistant Sub-Inspector, Sub-Inspector and Inspector.
Most of the dismissals are made on charges of extortion or blackmail, indiscipline, rape or molestation, misbehaviour with common man, financial irregularities, collusion with criminals, setting accused free etc.
“After receiving complaints, if the departmental inquiry confirms that personnel are guilty , action is taken against them,” say officials at the PHQ. They feel that though dismissal appears harsh, it is essential for maintaining discipline in force and serves as an example for delinquent policemen.
Of the 226 policemen terminated in 2005, 185 were constables, 27 were head constables, 11 were ASIs and ten were Inspector, Sub-Inspector. Most of those, who faced the axe belonged to lower rung of department.
Also, the policemen who are facing criminal cases and those guilty of gross indiscipline or policemen on leave without information for months face this extreme action of termination. In other government departments, such strict action is rare and generally suspensions are considered enough for action.
“The police are quite an accountable force when it comes to taking action,” said an officer on condition of anonymity. “It does help in cleansing the system,” he added.
When asked, Additional Director General of Police (ADG) Nandan Dubey said the Police Department does remove a lot of police personnel from service annually. “It is true that citizens often do not know that the policemen who are guilty of excesses have to pay with their jobs probably because it is an old practice and police don’t publicise such action,” he said.