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Bribe for entry into refinery: HC dismisses plea of CISF man

The Delhi High Court has dismissed the plea of a CISF head constable, who was sacked after being caught on camera receiving bribe from an undercover scribe for allowing entry into a refinery at Panipat in 2006.

Upholding the departmental proceedings which resulted in sacking of Surendra Kumar Rai, a bench headed by Justice Pradeep Nandrajog said, "Surely, the security of the refinery has to be maintained with pristine integrity and any dilution thereof has to be viewed seriously."

Rai, a CISF head constable who was manning the main gate of the refinery, had received Rs 150 as bribe from Kulawnt Singh, a journalist of a vernacular daily, for allowing him entry into the facility on 5th May, 2006.

The incident, which was video-graphed, was later telecast on a leading Hindi news channel. Following this, an inquiry was ordered and thereafter Rai was sacked.

Rai took the plea that the inquiry officer was "biased evidenced by the fact that he, without any justification, turned down his request for supplying relevant documents".

The bench said, "We find that while urging grounds in the petition, no ground has been urged that the inquiry stands vitiated on said count (non-supply of documents)."

"Indeed, the sting had shown a dirty underbelly of the security at the refinery in question and was rightly viewed with the seriousness it deserved by the senior officers of CISF who immediately contacted the news channel and obtained a copy thereof for viewing to identify the jawan ..." it said.

"Securities being breached and the nation suffering are events which we read with periodic intervals. We need not lament on the plague of corruption eating into the vitals of the economy of this country. The refinery has been set up through public funds and we are informed would need more than Rs 3,000 crores if required to be set up today," the court said.

The court relied on the testimonies of other CISF personnel who identified Rai as the culprit.
Hailing the sting, the bench said, "It was sought to be highlighted that security of public installations in which millions of rupees were invested were under threat from terrorists and how easy was it to breach the security."

During the inquiry, the head constable was served with a copy of the charge saying "he has not only did a condemnable deed but being a member of an armed force, did a severe misconduct and had tarnished the image of the force in the eyes of the common people".

"After watching the entire clip it can be inferred that the head constable, while in uniform, had taken bribe from a civilian," the bench concluded.

 

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