Bombay HC directs cop to buy law books for rural police station
The Aurangabad bench of the Bombay high court (HC) recently directed the station house officer (SHO) of Vasmat Nagar police station in Hingoli district to buy law books pertaining to various crimes for the police station after he was pulled up for not responding to a query by the court in January 2021. The court had sought to know about the action taken by the police on a complaint by a teacher in 2013. The court had initially imposed a fine of ₹10,000 on the officer for dereliction of duty but withdrew the fine. The officer volunteered to contribute ₹2,500 to the court library as a goodwill gesture, following which the court directed him to buy law books for the police station.
A division bench of justice Ravindra Ghuge and justice BU Debadwar was hearing a petition filed by a teacher Gopinath Galande seeking directions against the management of a group of schools which had allegedly stopped his salary when he refused to pay a gratification amount for continuation of his services. Advocate KP Rodge told the court that Galande had filed two complaints, one in 2013 and the other in 2017.
The complaint in 2013 was against the management after they stopped his salary and asked him to pay ₹15 lakh for continuation of his services and the complaint in 2017 was regarding a lady teacher being employed in two schools of the management at the same time. While the 2013 complaint was dismissed by the police after they did not find any merit in it, a first information report (FIR) was registered against the management in the 2017 complaint for having the same teacher drawing salary from two schools.
The police completed investigation in the 2017 complaint and the case will come up for trial, hence the court disposed of the petition.
However, the bench wanted to know what had happened with regard to the 2013 complaint and sought a reply from the SHO of the concerned police station on January 14 this year. After the SHO failed to respond, the bench sought his presence and imposed a cost of ₹10,000 from the officer’s salary.
After the officer submitted that he did not get the court order as the fax machine was not working, the court withdrew the cost. The officer then offered to donate ₹2,500 to the court library at Aurangabad, which the court declined and said, “We are of the view that the SHO should purchase latest bare acts on criminal laws like the Indian Penal Code; Code of Criminal Procedure; Evidence Act, the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989; Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012; Prevention of Terrorism Act, 2002; Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act, 1999; Maharashtra Prevention of Dangerous Activities of Slumlords, Bootleggers, Drug-Offenders/Dangerous Persons and Video Pirates Act, 1981; Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, etc. for Vasmatnagar Rural police station.”
The court said that as the petition was based on the 2017 complaint and was being disposed, Galande was at a liberty to resort to proper remedy for redressal of his 2013 complaint.