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Haryana govt draws HC ire for lenient action against cop

The Punjab and Haryana High Court took the Haryana Government to task on Wednesday over the leniency shown by the state police department towards an officer accused of gangrape.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Tirath Singh Thakur and Justice Jasbir Singh expressed strong disapproval with the action taken by the Inspector General of Police, Rohtak Range, against Phool Kumar, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Vigilance.

On the last date of hearing of the case on November 10, the High Court had directed the IGP to review the finding given in the favour of Kumar. As per it, Kumar, who remained absconding for 133 days after he figured as an accused in a gangrape case and was declared a proclaimed offender by the court thereafter, was exonerated and it was submitted that he was present on duty.

Rather than issuing a notice to the effect as to why the finding given should not be set aside, the police department issued a showcause notice asking Kumar to explain as to why his five annual increments should not be stopped.

“It is surprising that with so many law officers and advocates available with your government, a showcause notice cannot be drafted properly. This is a serious matter. You want to keep an officer who was accused of gangrape and later remained a proclaimed offender in the eyes of the court. Your department gives him a clean chit,” the Chief Justice told the counsel appearing for Haryana government.

The Bench advised the counsel that rather than stopping his annual increments, the endeavour should be to first set aside the finding and then initiate action against Kumar. “This IG must be an intelligent officer. Whatever notice is prepared, it should be on solid legal footing. First issue notices as to why the finding should not be reverted,” the Bench remarked.

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