The Hush Post: Superintendent of Police Deshraj Singh has been given three years imprisonment in a bribery case.
The special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court on Friday convicted Deshraj Singh a 2008-batch Indian Police Service (IPS) officer of the crime.
Posted as the Superintendent of Police (SP, city) in Chandigarh with the additional charge of SP (headquarters), Deshraj was detained by the CBI from his Sector-23 residence on October 18, 2012, while accepting Rs one lakh as bribe from a junior officer in lieu of getting him clean chit in two departmental inquiries. Later, Deshraj was 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.
The CBI had laid the trap to catch hold of SP Deshraj on the complaint of Chandigarh Police inspector Anokh Singh, the then SHO 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 demanded to give a statement which went in his favour.
The CBI trapped Deshraj taking the first instalment of Rs 1 lakh. Inspector Anokh Singh 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.
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.