The plea of Punjab cop rejected by the High Court.
The Punjab cop, accused of grafting, filed a plea of anticipatory bail in the Punjab and Haryana court which has been dismissed on Friday.
Graft usually refers to any activity of corruption, fraud or lack of integrity that is expected by any public official in a particular transaction. A police officer is considered as an instrument for the prevention and detection of crime. But it becomes a matter of concern when he himself is indulged in such malpractices. Such officer is nothing more than a stigma for the department.
Such officials are charged under Prevention of corruption Act and the courts conduct speedy trial and faithful delivery of justice, as done in the given case.
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Facts of the case
- A cop of Tarn Taran was found accused of promising curfew passes during Covid-19 outbreak in lieu of bribe.
- The FIR against him was lodged upon internal probe by Tarn Taran SSP after a video of the cop demanding and taking bribe.
- The FIR was registered under the Prevention of Corruption act on 4th April after with he filed a petition for Anticipatory bail.
- The Punjaband Haryana High court was dealing with this petition of constable Harjinder Singh.
- The Punjab and Haryana High Court dismissed the anticipatory bail plea of the Tarn Taran cop – constable Harjinder Singh.
Legal Stand Points
The accused has been charged under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 (Amendment Act passed in 2018). This act was enacted to combat corruption in government agencies and public officials in India.
According to the provisions of this act, the cases where any public officer is found guilty to taking bribe are to be decided by Special judge.
Anticipatory bail is granted under section- 438 of CrPC.
Section 438 in The Code Of Criminal Procedure, 1973
- Direction for grant of bail to person apprehending arrest.
(1) When any person has reason to believe that he may be arrested on an accusation of having committed a non- bailable offence, he may apply to the High Court or the Court of Session for a direction under this section; and that Court may, if it thinks fit, direct that in the event of such arrest, he shall be released on bail.
(2) When the High Court or the Court of Session makes a direction under sub- section (1), it may include such conditions in such directions in the light of the facts of the particular case, as it may think fit, including-
(i) a condition that the person shall make himself available for interrogation by a police officer as and when required;
(ii) a condition that the person shall not, directly or indirectly, make any inducement, threat or promise to any person acquainted with the facts of the case so as to dissuade him from disclosing such facts to the Court or to any police officer;
(iii) a condition that the person shall not leave India without the previous permission of the Court;
(iv) such other condition as may be imposed under sub- section (3) of section 437, as if the bail were granted under that section.
As it has been held by the Madras court in one of it’s judgement that the special courts constituted across the state to try Prevention of Corruption Act cases are not empowered to anticipatory bail applications filed by the accused, since such power has been conferred on the sessions court and High court under the Codeof Criminal Procedure.
Section 7 in The Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988
- Public servant taking gratification other than legal remuneration in respect of an official act.—Whoever, being, or expecting to be a public servant, accepts or obtains or agrees to accept or attempts to obtain from any person, for himself or for any other person, any gratification whatever, other than legal remuneration, as a motive or reward for doing or forbearing to do any official act or for showing or forbearing to show, in the exercise of his official functions, favour or disfavour to any person or for rendering or attempting to render any service or disservice to any person, with the Central Government or any State Government or Parliament or the Legislature of any State or with any local authority, corporation or Government company referred to in clause (c) of section 2, or with any public servant, whether named or otherwise, shall be punishable with imprisonment which shall be not less than six months but which may extend to five years and shall also be liable to fine.
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Legal opinion on the story
The police officials are believed to be the Guardian of law as well as constitution. They are expected to maintain peace and respect life and liberty. They are guided by the principles of justice. They employ the highest ethical standards, they are demanded accountability, consistency, fairness and honesty in the performance of their duty. Being at such a reputed and trustworthy position, if any police officer commits an offence of taking bribe, it puts a question mark on the entire system of the country. The judges, the lawyers, the doctors and the police officers have to be impartial while performing their duties. The law has to be in safe hands and not in the corrupt one’s.
So punishing such officials is of utmost importance. If a strict action is not taken against this cop, then how will the others beware?
The cop should not be granted anticipatory bail and a strict legal action is needed to be taken against him as he has tried to take an undue advantage, and that too in the situation of global crisis.
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The court has to observe the minute facts of the case before granting anticipatory bail.
In this case, as observed by the High court bench of justice Anil Kshetarpal that the cop was at the time of the alleged incident was a member of a disciplined force. So his act was against the principles of his duty. So the nature and gravity of the accusation on him become more severe after observing these facts.
After seeing all the facts of the given case, the court had enough reason to believe that the offence committed by the cop is strictly punishable and the court dismissed his plea for the grant of anticipatory bail.
Also Read- Grounds Of Anticipatory Bail in India
For case specific advice, please contact top/best/expert Chandigarh High Court Bail Lawyers Advocate in Punjab & Haryana (Mohali, Kharar, Derabassi, Zirakpur, Baltana).
This post is written by Riya Rana.
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