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Former Chandigarh SP Deshraj gets three years in jail for taking Rs 1 lakh bribe

The CBI had laid the trap to catch Deshraj on the complaint of Chandigarh Police inspector Anokh Singh, the then station house officer of Sector 26.

punjab Updated: Aug 10, 2018 15:39 IST
Aneesha Bedi
Aneesha Bedi
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Chandigarh,Chandigarh SP Deshraj,Central Bureau of Investigation
Deshraj Singh(HT File )

The special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court on Friday held Deshraj Singh, 39, a 2008-batch Indian Police Service (IPS) officer, guilty and awarded him three years in a bribery case.

Then posted as the superintendent of police (SP, city) in Chandigarh with the additional charge of SP (headquarters), Deshraj was arrested by the CBI at his Sector-23 residence on October 18, 2012, while taking Rs 1 lakh as bribe from a junior officer in lieu of getting him the clean chit in two departmental inquiries. Deshraj was later suspended.

The court of additional district and sessions judge Gagangeet Kaur held him guilty under Sections 7 (public servant taking gratification other than legal remuneration in respect of an official act) and 13 read with 13(1)(d) (criminal misconduct by a public servant) of the Prevention of Corruption (PC) Act.

Section 13(1)(d) is no longer a part of the PC Act. An amendment bill passed in the Parliament in July 28 this year, to enhance transparency and accountability of the government, has done away with the provision. However, cases already under trial are following provisions prior to the amendment.

The CBI had laid the trap to catch Deshraj on the complaint of Chandigarh Police inspector Anokh Singh, the then station house officer of Sector 26.

The SHO had said in his complaint to the CBI that SP Deshraj was a crucial witness in one of the departmental inquiries initiated against him. The inquiries against Anokh Singh were initiated for alleged disobedience and insubordination as he had failed to inform Deshraj about a theft at an MLA’s residence.

In the second inquiry initiated by Deshraj, the SHO had allegedly not conducted proper investigation in a case of assault on a woman constable. Deshraj’s statement in the inquiry was pending, and ₹5-lakh bribe was allegedly demanded to give a favourable statement.

The CBI had caught Deshraj taking the first instalment of Rs 1 lakh.

Inspector Anokh Singh had even produced audio recordings of the bribe demand made by Deshraj over phone.

During the trial, the then Chandigarh senior superintendent of police Naunihal Singh’s statement as the defence witness created quite a buzz. “Chandigarh Police has a problem of a permanent cadre up to the rank of DSP,” he had told the court, adding how it led to disciplinary issues.

In his final defence in court, Deshraj claimed that he never accepted the money and Anokh had placed it in his house while he had gone to another room.

However, CBI public prosecutor KP Singh said the forensic report proved that the SP’s hands had touched the bribe money, which had been smeared with phenolphthalein powder.

First Published: Aug 10, 2018 15:34 IST