Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, October 8
Portly policemen in Punjab now stand a fat chance of remaining in active frontline duties. For, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has asked the Punjab Police not to depute overweight police officials in investigation of cases involving raids on bootleggers and drug peddlers.
Justice Arvind Singh Sangwan directed the police not to depute officials, who failed to nab the accused at the spot during investigation, even though the accused were either middle-aged or older.
Justice Sangwan also called for physical fitness test of all police officials who failed to nab accused in excise and drug cases. The test would be conducted at the police training academies in presence of a team of doctors. “If need be, all these police officials be deputed for physical training session of three months to make them physically fit for conducting raids. In the alternative, the Additional Director General of Police (ADGP), Bureau of Investigation, Punjab, will explore the possibility of deputing young and fit officials, where the raid under the Excise Act is to be conducted,” Justice Sangwan said. The direction came after Justice Sangwan took cognizance of cases, where middle-aged, and even elderly persons, managed to run away from the police. Justice Sangwan asserted it was noticed the accused managed to run away from the spot on seeing a police party in some of the cases under the NDPS Act, and a majority of cases under the Excise Act.
In some cases, it was noticed that some accused escaped after jumping from the roof or scaling the wall during the raids on the basis of secret information by police party comprising four or five personnel.
The ADGP was also asked to collect details of FIRs, mainly under the Excise Act, where the accused ran away from the spot in the presence of the police party. He was also asked to find out the reasons why the same thing was happening in a number of FIRs. For the purpose of report submission, Justice Sangwan set a three-month deadline.
Justice Sangwan was hearing a case in which a man, aged about 45, allegedly managed to run away from the spot despite the presence of four or five police officials “raising a doubt about the incident”.