-Report by Rhea Mistry
The Madras High Court recently in K. Kumarodass vs. The Principal Secretary to Government, remanded the police for corruption. Mr. K Kumaradoss, the petitioner is a retired Special Sub Inspector of Police. He was first admitted as GR-II Police Constable in the year 1977 and later promoted to the level of Special Sub Inspector of police. The special Sub Inspector was permitted to retire from his service in the year 2010. During the service of Mr. K Kumaradoass in the police, a memo was charged against him alleging that he had collected a Mamool of Rs 50/- twice in a week from Mr. Ravi who was running a bunk shop not far away from a TUSMAC shop. The memo that was charged against Mr. K Kumaradoss stated that he was alleged for misconduct. The materials, list of documents, and the statement of the witnesses proved the same.
Considering the evidence and the statements of the witnesses, the court had appointed an inquiry officer to investigate the matter. The accused was allowed to be a part of the inquiry process. The inquiry officer made a report after the cross-examination of the witnesses and the documents, stating that the allegation stands true. The Disciplinary Authority instituted a punishment of reduction in his time scale pay by three stages for three years and said that the period of reduction shall function to delay three years’ worth of future increases. Mr. K Kumaradoss went for an appeal which was rejected and so he filed a writ petition challenging the order of his punishment of reduction of time scale pay.
This writ petition is against
- The Principal Secretary of Government,
- The Director of Police
- The Commissioner of Police
- The Dy. Commissioner of Police
Contentions by the Petitioner
The learned counsel of the petitioner presented that the petitioner, Mr. K Kumaradoss has a record of 35 years’ service without any bad record, or a mark made upon him. He has been very devoted and ethical to his service. The allegation made against him is false and a proper inquiry was not conducted as there was no bunk shop close to the TUSMAC shop as stated. The petitioner’s counsel also advanced the circular issued on 25th May 2010 by the Director-General of the Police that any punishments can be seamlessly integrated out when the officer is still on duty and service preventing the imposition of sanctions that will be impossible or difficult to carry out in future. And the punishment implemented on the writ petitioner was not during his service, but it was imposed at the furthermost point in his retirement, so such punishment cannot be imposed on the petitioner.
The writ petition prayed that the order of his punishment is quashed and he is promoted to the position of SSI effective from April 9th, 2010, with all services and retirement benefits.
Contentions by the Respondents
The respondents learned special government counsel argued the contentions of the writ petitioner. Respondents stated that the punishment imposed on the petitioner was during the period of his full-time service and not during the furthermost point in his retirement. And so, the circular relied upon does not apply to this punishment.
Another statement the learned special government counsel made is that the allegation raised against the petitioner is a corruption charge and is a serious crime made by the officer. It is serious and the same should be taken seriously. The counsel had cross-examined the witnesses and the reports submitted by the inquiring officer, they presented that the charges were proved and true that the petitioner was taking a Mamool of Rs 50/- twice a week from Mr. Ravi. According to the reports and cross-examination, the order of the punishment was implemented, so the writ petition of the petitioner is to be rejected.
During the deposition, various facts and truths have come forward. The complainant, Mr. Ravi, the owner of the bunk shop confessed that he is regularly paying Mamool to the constables twice a week. The petitioner too confessed that he is collecting Mamool from him. Mr. Ravi also revealed that he was threatened by the petitioner and had to pay Rs. 100/- as Mamool to him when asked by him. Another witness Mr. Thiru Mani agreed that the constables are collecting Mamool regularly. A Police Officer also deposed about the collection of Mamool by the constables. The report submitted by the inquiry officer held that the materials presented were true to the fact and stated that after a thorough and proper inquiry, it was found that the bunk shop owner was paying Mamool to the constables. Looking at all the points and statements of the witnesses and the reports, it was held that the complaint against the writ petitioner is actionable and imposed the punishment.
The court in this matter stated that reviewing the punishment implemented on the petitioner for the crime of collecting a Mamool, the authority is not taking corruption charges seriously. In this case, there was no criminal charge registered against the petitioner by the owner of the bunk shop. The authority does not seem to be concerned about the collection of Mamool by their officers.
Regarding the severity of the punishment imposed, the court does not identify any flaws and perversities in light of the facts and circumstances presented. This court also said that the court has the power of judicial review by Article 226 of the Constitution to ensure that the procedure followed by the authority to get to the decision taken by them is by the rules and regulations provided, but not the actual decision.
This court stated that there should be honesty and integrity in the public servants while doing their duties and responsibilities as to no allegation of corruption can be made against them. The public servants of the country are given a decent and enough salary. The competitiveness that has increased in comparing their salary with the employees of the private sector is what is driving them to be corrupt. They held that the authorities are not considering the seriousness of the corruption of their officers and public servants. There have been various judgments and debates regarding corruption. A change should be brought that will prevent the public servants from corruption. In light of the above, the court will send instructions and circulars stating that for any conduct of corruption, there should be a criminal case registered against the police officials who have collected the Mamool.
And for the writ petition, the decision of the punishment is not perverse and the charges against the petitioner are proved to be correct without any perversity. The writ petition therefore fails and stands dismissed.