Vigilance probe sought

Staff Reporter

Into former police commissioner’s alleged role in hushing up a harassment case

Petition says he took a bribe of Rs.4 lakh from a jewellery shop owner

It also alleges his involvement in other bribery cases

Kozhikode: A petition was moved before the Vigilance Inquiry Commissioner and Special Judge here on Tuesday seeking to order a probe by the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau (VACB) into the former Kozhikode City Police Commissioner and Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG) Balram Kumar Upadhyay’s role in allegedly hushing up a rape case involving a gold merchant.

Vigilance Judge M.K. Kuttikrishnan will take up the case for hearing on June 18.

The petition was moved by Raju Puzhankara, a human rights activist.

The petition said Mr. Upadhyay, during his tenure as Commissioner, had taken a bribe of Rs.4 lakh from a city-based jewellery shop owner against whom a sales girl had complained of sexual exploitation. The officer had hushed up the case and deliberately converted it into a labour dispute at the business establishment, the petitioner alleged.

The Women’s Cell Sub Inspector, Head Constable and the jeweller have been named as accused in the petition. Mr. Upadhyay is the first accused.

Mr. Puzhankara also stated in the petition that Mr. Upadhyay had been involved in several other bribery cases. The petitioner said Mr. Upadhyay should be prosecuted under Section 13(1)(d) (criminal misconduct by a public servant – by obtaining any valuable thing or pecuniary advantage) of the Prevention of Corruption Act and 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant) of the Indian Penal Code.

He pleaded that an order should be executed under Section 156 (3) (police officer’s power to investigate cognizable offence) of the Criminal Procedure Code and the case should be investigated by a senior officer of the VACB.