For over a week now, former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh's corruption allegations against Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh has dominated news headlines. Former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh wrote a letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray alleging that Deshmukh had indulged in "malpractices" and asked suspended API Sachin Vaze to collect Rs 100 crore every month.
But this is not the first time that claims about bribery and police corruption have been levelled. Several years earlier, IPS officer Sanjay Pandey had made similar remarks while speaking to actor Aamir Khan on the latter's show, Satyamev Jayate. A video clip from the 2014 interview has since gone viral, with many noting while one spoke in abstracts and the other named names, not much appeared to have changed.
Pandey, who is presently Maharashtra's senior most IPS officer, had been the DIG of the State Reserve Police Force at the time of the interview. Acknowledging the issue of bribery, the official said that it was unlikely that the full amount remained with the police constables who actually collected bribes.
"I don't believe he would be taking home the entire amount he has collected. We are in a democracy. Everyone is aware there is a hierarchy of seniors. Then, there are our politicians. It's a chain and in this chain..." he trails off in response to Khan's question.
Elaborating further, on the alleged "vasooli" system, he breaks corruption down into two forms. The disorganised set up where one demands bribes in a somewhat whimsical manner, citing issues with driving licenses and more without knowing how many people they would catch a hold of.
"There are many things that are well organised. For instance, we have restaurants. There are FL-3 licenses, liquor bars. In Maharashtra there are dance bars. There's a ban on them. They are still running in some places. This organised settlement, institutional collection is different. The major distribution..." he trails off again.
Watch the full episode here: