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121 accused, 18 arrests, 0 convictions: Delhi Police’s crackdown on cases of alleged corrupt cops

The vigilance unit has yet to make a conviction since 2013. A senior officer said the slow progress is due to the fact that there is only one forensic laboratory to process evidence.

delhi Updated: Aug 04, 2018 10:35 IST
Prawesh Lama
Prawesh Lama
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Delhi Police,Delhi Police vigilance station,Police vigilance station
Experts are calling this an indication that Delhi Police may not be serious about probing charges against its own officers.(HT File Photo)

A police station set up to exclusively deal with alleged cases of corruption against Delhi Police officers has been able to arrest only 18 of the 121 accused police personnel.

Records accessed by HT show that the vigilance police station was set in 2014. Ever since then, a total of 66 FIRs have been registered against police personnel under the Prevention of Corruption Act. Till August 1, two sub-inspectors, four assistant sub-inspectors, five head constables and six constables have been arrested on corruption charges. Although the FIRs name the accused policemen, most the cases are still ‘under investigation’.

A senior police officer from the vigilance unit, while trying to explaining why only 14% of the accused had been arrested, said, “Cases under the Prevention of Corruption Act are different. Unless a person is caught red-handed, we do not arrest the accused. We make arrests only after getting conclusive evidence of the video and audio recordings from the forensic laboratory.”

The officer said because there is only one forensic laboratory in Delhi, the reports take time.

“We are at present still waiting for reports in cases that were registered two years ago. We make arrests only after getting report from forensic laboratory.

Investigating officers face action if they arrest someone but the report is inconclusive because of technical reasons. Also, please remember that the moment we have registered an FIR, the accused officer is suspended and while the case is being investigated, the officer is not given any sensitive posting. At present, there are at least 1,800 police officers across Delhi facing departmental inquiry because of our recommendations,” the officer said.

Police station that polices cops
  • Anti- Corruption Helpline number: 9910641064. Complainants can send audio and video recording via WhatsApp on this number
  • At least 387 police officers, which include one Deputy Commissioner of Police, one Assistant Commissioner of Police, 25 inspectors and other junior officers, were found guilty in the departmental inquiries Punishment ranged from suspension to warning and transfer and censure
  • Currently 1,800 departmental inquiries are underway against police personnel across Delhi on the basis of vigilance departmental inquiry
  • Vigilance department conducted 504 surprise checks at police stations posing as decoy complainants to check police response.
  • Delhi Police officers say apart from vigilance police stations, if anypolice personnel is caught for a crime, he/she is suspended and can be arrested. Last year, 59 police officers were dismissed from service for different offences other than corruption.

Senior advocate Rebecca John said that a policeman investigating another often leads to no investigation.

“The Supreme Court has often acknowledged that when a police officer investigates another officer, the investigation is compromised,” she said,

Records show that only 12 chargesheets were filed and there has not been a single conviction in any of the 66 cases. Vigilance department officers said within the next one month they would be filing 10 more chargesheets.

“Our cases are evidencebased and we need to build watertight cases. The evidence in our cases are scientific and needs to be conclusive enough for the courts to appreciate and help us secure convictions. There is no point filing chargesheets early without proper evidence because there is a risk that the courts do not like the proof we present and the accused gets an advantage. Even if there has been no convictions so far, please note that there have not been any acquittals either,” said the senior police officer.

First Published: Aug 04, 2018 09:25 IST