Process set in motion to dismiss an SP, 2 DSPs convicted in criminal cases, Punjab govt tells HC
The Punjab government has initiated the process to dismiss three senior officers, including a superintendent of police (SP) and two deputy superintendents of police (DSPs), who were convicted in criminal cases.
In a report submitted in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the state government said a total of 103 cops, including three SPs, two DSPs, two inspectors, eight assistant sub-inspectors, 13 head constables and 75 constables, have been convicted in criminal cases.
The officers against whom dismissal proceedings were initiated are Paramdeep Singh Sandhu (SP-rank) and DSPs Gurcharan Singh and Hardev Singh.
Sandhu, posted as additional inspector general (AIG security), was booked in 2011 in a graft case and convicted in 2018. Gurcharan Singh, posted with the 3rd Indian Reserve Battalion, Ludhiana, was convicted by a trial court in 2016 in a graft case registered in 2012. Approval is being sought from the competent authority in his case. Hardev Singh, who is lodged in Central Jail Amritsar, was booked in 2004 for extortion and criminal intimidation and convicted in February this year. Approval is also sought from the competent authority in his case.
Two more convicted cops are Gurdaspur SSP Rajinder Singh Sohal who was booked for illegal detention in 1995 and convicted in 2013 and Harpreet Singh (DSP) who was booked in a kidnap case in 1995 and convicted in 2005 and These officers are currently in service.
Details were sought on the petition of a Moga resident, Surjit Singh, who had approached the court challenging his dismissal order passed by the the district police chief.
Surjit told the court that the dismissal order was passed even as the criminal case against him was pending adjudication. He termed the move discriminatory, as a large number of police officers facing criminal cases are still in service.
The details submitted in October also revealed that at least 1,326 police officers/officials are facing criminal cases.
On the court’s query on rationale in re-instating/allowing the continuance of such officers in service despite conviction, the affidavit submitted by additional chief secretary (home) Anurag Aggarwal says neither there is any provision of the Constitution nor any rules provide that in case of conviction in a criminal matter a government employee has to be necessarily dismissed from service. It is for the authorities concerned to decide in each case the quantum of punishment to be imposed on the convicted employee, keeping in view the gravity of offence which led to their conviction. The dismissal of a government employee cannot be automatic merely on registration of a criminal case against them, Aggarwal argued.