Take action against erring police men

Staff Reporter

MADURAI: In recent days, the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has come down on police officials for the manner in which investigation in criminal cases is conducted.

At least in two instances, the Bench has directed the Inspector General of Police (South Zone) to initiate departmental proceedings against "erring policemen."

Justice M. Chockalingam on Wednesday directed the IGP to take necessary action against officials of the Tuticorin District Crime Branch for their "inaction" in a cheating case involving Rs.1.5 crores.

Though the police were aware that as many as 300 depositors were cheated by a chit fund company run by a couple and a case was also registered on April 12, following the directions of the Madurai Bench, the officials did not take any effective steps for the past seven months, the Judge said.

Moreover, when one of the accused moved a petition for anticipatory bail before the special court for economic offences in Chennai, the police "misrepresented" that the total amount embezzled was only Rs.11 lakhs.

Hence, the Judge directed that the rest of the investigation in the case should be handled by some other competent officer and monitored by the Deputy Inspector General of Police concerned.

"Initiate departmental proceedings"

Similarly, last week, the Judge had directed the IGP (South Zone) to initiate departmental proceedings against Palanichettipatti police officials in Theni district for failing to appraise the lower court of the true facts in a criminal case.

In that case, the Bench, on April 5, granted anticipatory bail to three accused on condition that they should deposit Rs.20,000 each.

But the accused, in order to avoid payment of money, surrendered before the Judicial Magistrate in Periyakulam and, subsequently, jumped bail.

The police officials failed to inform the Magistrate that the accused had already obtained anticipatory bail from the Madurai Bench.