HC upholds dismissal of Delhi Police constable caught with foreign currency at airport, Legal News, ET LegalWorld – Legal Firms

New Delhi, The Delhi High Court has upheld the dismissal of a policeman, who was caught with foreign currency while being on a “very sensitive duty” to check the passports of passengers at the airport here in 1996, saying he was supposed to be the custodian of law and has to be dealt with iron hands for breaking it. The high court said there was no reason to interfere with the order of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) which had also upheld the disciplinary authority’s order dismissing the Delhi Police head constable from service.

“In the present case, this court is dealing with a police personnel who is supposed to be the custodian of law and whose duty is to ensure that people are following the law of the land.

“If such a person himself breaks the law, he has to be dealt with iron hands, and, therefore, in the considered opinion of this court no other punishment except dismissal could have been inflicted upon him in the facts and circumstances of the case,” a bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad said.

The petitioner was a head constable with the Delhi Police and was posted at Terminal 2 of the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport and in March 1996, during a surprise visit, the DCP was informed that two policemen who were checking passports of passengers were collecting money from them.

A search was carried out and 75 dirhams was found in the pocket of the head constable and the action was initiated against him under the law.

The former policeman’s counsel argued that this was a case where there was no evidence of demanding and accepting bribe and in absence of an eyewitness and absence of evidence from the person from whom the money was allegedly extorted, it cannot be said that any misconduct occurred at the behest of the petitioner.

The high court said by no stretch of imagination can it be said that the present case is a case of no evidence.

“It is an undisputed fact that 75 dirhams was recovered from the petitioner at the time when the search took place and the petitioner was certainly not a traveller who came from some foreign country, thereby being in possession of dirhams,” it said.

The bench said the police official who was present at the airport to check the travellers was found with foreign currency and no satisfactory explanation was provided by him for possession of the same at the time of search and seizure.

It said the statements of the witnesses make it very clear that based upon certain allegations regarding extortion of money, a surprise check was carried out and 75 dirhams was recovered from the petitioner.

“…in the absence of any procedural irregularity or violation of principle of natural justice and fair play, this court does not find any reason to interfere with the order passed by the Disciplinary Authority, the Appellate Authority as well as the order passed by the CAT. The writ petition stands dismissed,” the bench said. PTI SKV SMN

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