Mumbai: The Bombay High Court today directed the additional director general of Maharashtra’s Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) to supervise an inquiry into corruption charges levelled by a head constable against the traffic police across the city and outside.
A division bench headed by Justice R V More was hearing a petition filed by head constable Sunil Toke which alleged rampant corruption in the police’s traffic department, and sought an FIR be lodged and departmental inquiry be initiated against the corrupt officials.
Additional Public Prosecutor Jayesh Yagnik informed the court that the ACB has begun its inquiry into the allegations under the supervision of the additional commissioner of police, Mumbai.
The court, however, noted that since the allegations are of serious nature and are not restricted just to Mumbai, it would be better if the additional director general, ACB, would supervise the inquiry.
“We direct the additional DG to submit a progress report within six weeks. We want a high-ranking officer to look into the allegations as the petition has set out cognisable offences against specific traffic police officials,” Justice More said.
Toke, who is at present attached with the Armed Police Force, Worli division, joined the service in 1985 and was posted with the Goregaon traffic police and then Wadala traffic police during the period of 2013 to 2016.
The petition states that during his tenure at the traffic department, he was shocked and surprised to see that there was rampant corruption there. The petitioner listed a few examples where the traffic police had taken money from the people.
“The traffic police take money from trucks which ply sand illegally, trucks which evade octroi, trucks which carry construction material, in cases of illegal parking, drunken driving and so on,” the petition alleged.
It alleged that the traffic police department collects Rs 40,000-50,000 from four-star and five-star hotels for allowing illegal parking outside their premises.
“There are thousands of illegal taxis and autorickshaws plying in the city without requisite permission. The traffic police collect Rs 1,000-2,000 from each such vehicle every month and allow them to ply,” the petition claimed.
It claimed that when ‘nakabandi’ is done for drunken driving, out of 50 cases only 5 to 10 are shown officially and the offenders are prosecuted.
“In the other cases, an amount of Rs 10,000-50,000 is taken by the traffic police depending on who the offender is,” the petition said.