Mumbai: Mumbai Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh termed the act of constables accepting bribe to allow illegal constructions in the city as "shameful" and said there should be "zero tolerance for such criminal conduct". Thirty-six policemen were suspended on Thursday after a sting operation exposed the nexus between the police and builders for illegal constructions in the city. The sting operation, conducted by a social activist, showed 15 police constables accepting bribe to allow illegal constructions in Mumbai's Kurla area.
"As soon as we came to know that a CD was played on some channel that some constables are taking money, immediately we asked our officers to suspend these constables. All the constables and the in charge of the police station have been suspended to have a very fair and impartial inquiry and investigation into the case. Whether somebody else also is involved, we have given this case to the Anti Corruption Bureau. Anti Corruption Bureau has registered a case and they will be making the investigation. I would like to assure the viewers that if anybody is found involved, necessary legal action will be taken against them," he said.
Agreeing that it was "shameful act", the Police Commissioner said he was waiting for the preliminary inquiry to take further action in the case. "I definitely admit that it is a very shameful and condemnable act on the part of the constables and to ensure that such incidents don't recurr we have called a meeting. We have given instructions to these fellows but perhaps there is some history behind a fight, what happened, because this is not a one day affair, it is not a one day sting operation. I think after the preliminary enquiry has been conducted, we came to know that it was done for about 8-10 days and it started in March and people were called, and people went there and accepted the money. The way the money has been payed and it has also appeared in the press today that around Rs 40,000 has been distributed to around 36 constables.
"In a January 31 complaint, the names of the corporation officials were mentioned. It never mentioned the name of any policeman and when this complaint was brought to the notice of the Anti-Corruption Bureau, the complaint was forwarded to the BMC Commisioner for necessary action. But as far as this thing is concerned, we admit, it was, what I won't not call the biggest blunder but what they have done is a criminal misconduct on the part of the policeman," he said.
Singh, however, maintained that there were no police officers involved in the incident. There have been reports which suggest that the constables had collected money on behalf of a senior police officer. "I would like to tell you that though nowhere it has figured and nowhere it has come to our notice that somebody has collected money on behalf of someone, the incharge of the police station was suspended. Because it was basically his responsibility to have checked and controlled thses men and because he has failed he had slack supervison and that's why the incharge of the police station has also been suspended," he said.
The Police Commissioner said there should be zero tolerance against corruption. "I think it would be a good lesson, a very good lesson that there should be zero tolerance for this kind of criminal misconduct on the part of any policeman, junior or senior. If anybody is found indulging in such kind of corrupt practices, nobody would be spared. The message must go very clear to all the policemen and all the officers. And it will certainly, as far as public is concerned, give the trust to the members of the public in the police system," he said.