Free Press Journal

Stern action must be taken against corrupt traffic policemen: Bombay High Court


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Mumbai: Slamming the traffic police for not being present on duty and addressing the citizens’ complaints, the Bombay High Court on Wednesday, told the state it needs to slap heavy fines and suspend the erring policemen, instead of troubling the complainants.

The division bench of S C Dharmadhikari and Bharati Dangre while hearing a criminal Public Interest Litigation traffic constable, Sunil Toke. The state in its affidavit informed the court only two traffic constables were suspended and 13 transferred to insignificant posts, which irked the court. “You have simply transferred them to insignificant posts and only two have been suspended. They need to be held responsible,” noted justice Dangre. While dictating the order, justice Dharmadhikari stated, “Sterner action needs to be taken against the offending policemen imposing a heavy fine or suspension in case of indiscipline. A strong message needs to be sent to the traffic police.”

Moreover, the judges pulled up the traffic department for troubling the citizens who send photo and video recordings of evidence showing breach of traffic rules or the traffic police failing in their duty. “You cannot investigate or question the citizen who is performing the duty of the traffic police. You are supposed to only note down the breach or any lapse and take immediate action against the responsible policeman,” said the judge.

The bench rapped the traffic policemen for their lackadaisical attitude on duty. Justice Dharmadhikari said the policemen are seen talking on mobile phone while on duty, leave early without adhering to the time and are seen to be waiting under a tree in a corner.

“At every nook and corner of the city, one can see these constables standing, playing or talking on their phone or (chatting) with each other. That seems to be their prime duty. The incidental duty is manning the traffic,” it said. The joint commissioner of traffic police and another senior official of the department today filed affidavits before the court in this regard. The bench however said filing affidavits was not enough.

“Sincere efforts have to be made to tackle the issue,”the judges said. The court said the mobile phone numbers of the joint commissioner of traffic police and a senior officer of the department should be publicised so that people can call and complain about bribe-taking and corruption. The bench posted the petition for further hearing after four weeks and asked for a comprehensive affidavit to be filed by the joint commissioner of traffic police.