A month after Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij directed the state police chief to suspend 372 Investigating Officers over delay in cases being handled by them, only 99 such officers have faced action, it has been learnt. The Haryana Police department has given a “revised list” to Vij claiming that only 99 Investigating Officers were found responsible for delay in disposing of first information reports (FIRs), as against nearly four times the number that were mentioned in the earlier list.
“Earlier, I was given a list of 372 Investigating Officers who were found responsible for inordinate delay in taking action in cases being investigated by them. On Monday, I was given another revised list in which I was told that only 99 of them were found responsible for the inordinate delay for which they did not have any plausible reasons. That’s a huge difference. Now, either of the two lists is false. I held a meeting with the officials of the home and the police department on Tuesday and directed Additional Chief Secretary (Home) to hold a thorough inquiry, find out and fix the responsibility on who has tried to misled the government,” Vij told The Indian Express.
While the 99 named in the revised list have been placed under suspension, the rest continue to be on their places of posting. Sources privy to the developments disclosed that the top brass has conveyed to the home minister that there were various reasons, including stay orders issued by the courts, pending forensic analysis reports, and transfers of Investigating Officers, resulting in the delay in certain cases and thus the Investigating Officers could not be punished for such factors.
Vij, however, is not convinced. “A huge number of people from across the state come to me with their complaints. Even today (Tuesday), people from various parts of Haryana came to me with their grievances. It is my duty to assure them of prompt redressal and those (in the police department) who do not do so will have to face action,” Vij said.
Earlier, on October 23, he had asked DGP SS Kapur to immediately suspend 372 Investigating Officers, in the ranks of Assistant Sub Inspectors to Inspectors, saying it was “a tough stance taken in public interest”. Vij had issued the order saying that he had sought a report from the Home Department’s senior officers and was informed that there were 3,229 such cases in which action was pending for over a year.
“I asked the senior officers to seek explanation from these Investigating Officers for the reasons why action was not taken in the cases pending with them. I was informed that the replies were either not furnished to the explanations sought or were not satisfactory in cases of 372 officers,” Vij had said, adding that people cannot be left to run from one officer to another seeking justice.
“It is the police’s duty to provide prompt redressal to complaints lodged with them,” Vij had said adding that he has instructed the Director General of Police “to hand over all such cases to DSPs who would take action on these cases within a month, failing which they would also be liable for action”.
Sources said in some cases there were allegations of corruption leading to intentional delays against them, while in some there were allegations of bias due to which the complaints had been pending for more than one year.
On November 3, Vij spoke with police chiefs of all the districts and issued directions to immediately suspend the said 372 officers and demanded that the copies of suspension orders must reach the Home Department’s office and police headquarters by the evening of the same day. However, it did not happen.
On Tuesday, in the meeting with top police officers, Vij said that “every complaint should be disposed within three months, otherwise action shall be taken against concerned officers”. He also asked officers to identify and revamp all the dilapidated police posts and police stations across the state and strictly enforce traffic rules and regulations, take steps to prevent road fatalities. He added that the meeting with the police’s top brass shall now be held every month’s second Tuesday.
Apart from DGP Kapur, ACS (Home) TVSN Prasad, ADGP (Law and Order) Mamta Singh, Haryana Narcotics Control Bureau’s chief ADGP OP Singh, ADGP AS Chawla, ADGP Kala Ramachandran, and other senior officials were present in the meeting.
Earlier in the day, a Rewari-based family met Vij in Ambala and apprised him about their 15-year-old daughter who studies in a government school and was missing for the last few days. They apprised Vij that despite the police registering an FIR, no further action was taken. Vij called Rewari’s Superintendent of Police and said, “The girl’s parents have reached Ambala from Rewari. Please take strict action in this matter and get it investigated by the Crime Branch”.
In another case, a woman alleged that a man raped her on pretext of marriage and fled to Italy, while she was running from pillar to post seeking action. Vij issued instructions to Kurukshetra SP directing him to initiate action. In yet another case, a Panchkula-based woman complained about her husband who is a judicial officer and alleged that despite her complaint, police did not include the required sections of law in the case. The home minister directed Panchkula’s Commissioner of Police to constitute a Special Investigation Team and get the matter probed. In another case, Vij instructed Yamunanagar SP to investigate a case of fatal attack on a youth.