Yet another case of police not registering a crime to keep the record books clean

Yet another instance of the police not registering a crime to keep the record books clean has come to light with the Outer Delhi police registering a First Information Report (FIR) in a five-month-old cheating case this past Wednesday, and that too after the accused was arrested.

The case pertains to a maid-service bureau agent who allegedly cheated Rohini resident Seema Gupta of Rs.15,400 on pretext of providing a maid.

Ms. Gupta, who was in need of a maid for her bedridden mother Santosh, spotted a pamphlet in a newspaper about Ashu Maid Bureau on March 16 and contacted agency owner Devender over phone. On March 17, one Subhash reached her Sector 9 flat along with a woman, who introduced herself as Meena.

Ms. Gupta, a housewife, paid Subhash Rs.15,400 for the services and was given a receipt by him. He also took Rs.200 for the fare.

Ten minutes later when Ms. Gupta looked for Meena, she was nowhere to be found. Upon questioning the security guards, she was told Meena had just left. She informed Devender, who assured he would come to her residence in an hour and return the money. But he failed to do so.

When she called up Devender on March 18, his phone had been switched-off. Ms. Gupta reported the matter that very day at the Prashant Vihar police station. The police acknowledged the complaint, but did not register the FIR.

Interestingly, the police registered the FIR on August 17, after the arrest of Santosh (18), Heera (19) and Saraswati (20). Ms. Gupta's uncle Bharat Bhushan (65), a retired Ministry of Civil Aviation general-manager, said: “We reported the matter to the police on March 18, but they did not register any FIR. They just acknowledged our complaint. After that I called up Prashant Vihar Station House Office Inspector Ram Avtar and the investigation officer umpteen times, but there was no satisfactory reply. On June 22, I met Deputy Commissioner of Police (Outer) B.S. Jaiswal and complained to him in writing about the shoddy investigation, but again to no avail.''

“On August 17,” Mr. Bhushan said, “the SHO called me to the police station and told me the accused had been arrested. He then lodged FIR no. 380 in the case dated August 17 and provided me a copy.”

For his part, Mr. Jaiswal said: “Usually in cases of cheating, the FIR is lodged only after a preliminary inquiry to avoid filing of false cases due to ill-intention. In this case, the SHO sat on the complaint and delayed the inquiry. When the matter came to my notice, I directed the Assistant Commissioner of Police to conduct an inquiry and immediately lodge the FIR.”

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