Even policemen not required to do moral policing, says SC | India News – Times of India


NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has ruled that policemen are not required to do moral policing, while ordering dismissal of a Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) constable for seeking physical intimacy with his colleague’s fiancee as a blackmail after he caught the lovers together.
A bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and J K Maheshwari allowed the appeal of the CISF against Gujarat high court’s December 2014 decision directing reinstatement of constable Santosh Kumar Pandey with 50% retrospective wages since February 2002, when he was removed from service by the force’s disciplinary body on being satisfied with the evidence gathered during inquiry.
It was during Garba festival in October 2001 that Pandey noticed his colleague riding a bike with his fiancee near the Greenbelt Area of the IPCL Township in Vadodara, to which the CISF was providing security. On finding the colleague stopping the bike at the corner of a road and hugging his fiancee, Pandey rushed to the spot and refused to let go of his colleague. He later demanded physical intimacy with the girl, who started crying. Later, Pandey let them go when his colleague handed over his wristwatch to him.
Next day, the colleague complained about the unsavoury incident to the higher ups in CISF, which forced Pandey to return the watch with an apology. But the CISF instituted a full-fledged inquiry, including recording the statement of the girl, and returned a finding that Pandey was unfit to remain as constable of a disciplined force.
Criticising the HC for taking a cursory view of the evidence and a lenient stand on the guilt of the CISF constable, the bench said, “On the question of proportionality of punishment, we have to observe that the facts in the present case are startling and distressing.” Writing the judgment, Justice Khanna said, “Pandey is not a police officer, and even police officers are not required to do moral policing, ask for physical favour or material goods.”
“In view of the aforesaid factual and legal position, we accept the appeal and set aside the impugned judgment. Accordingly, the special civil application filed by Santosh Kumar Pandey before the (Gujarat) high court will be treated as dismissed. The order of removal from service passed by the disciplinary authority is upheld,” the bench said.


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