New Delhi: A former Delhi Police constable, who tried to take benefit of the Centre's May 21 notification on jurisdiction of ACB, was unsuccessful in his efforts after Delhi High Court rejected his appeal against his conviction in a graft case, the second such case in less than a week.
Prem Chand, who was convicted in 2005 in the corruption case lodged in 1998, had moved the court claiming that the May 21 notification, taking away power of Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) of Delhi government to prosecute policemen, has retrospective effect.
Justice Siddharth Mridul, however, rejected the plea on two grounds - one, that he cannot re-agitate an issue which he had contested all the way to the Supreme Court unsuccessfully and two, things done “before supersession” of the 1998 notification by the latest one “cannot be disturbed or reopened”.
On May 25, the high court had dismissed the bail application of a head constable who was arrested by the ACB in a corruption case. The judges disallowed Anil Kumar's bail application saying his submission that ACB does not have the competence or jurisdiction to act on the complaint of the complainant is rejected.
Chand was prosecuted on the basis of the 1998 notification of the Centre according to which the Delhi government or LG could proceed against police personnel. The court noted that May 21 notification stipulates that “things done before the supersession of the earlier (1998) notification cannot be disturbed or reopened”.
“In my view the petitioner cannot be permitted to negate the entire process of law by seeking to question his conviction at this belated stage. Writ petition is accordingly dismissed,” the court said.
It further said, “The present petition appears to be an attempt to over reach the judicial process and is resultantly an abuse thereof. The notification relied upon by the petitioner itself entirely stipulates that things done before the supersession of the earlier notification cannot be disturbed or reopened.”
The court made the observation while dismissing Chand's plea, who has sought quashing of all the criminal proceedings emanating from an FIR lodged by ACB including his sentence and conviction by the trial court in corruption case.
Chand and his two associates, Mohd Toufiq and Pramod Kumar, were sentenced to a year jail term by the trial court in December 2005, which was later upheld by the high court in February 2014. Thereafter, the Supreme Court had confirmed the same.
They were accused of demanding bribe of over Rs 380 per month from a hawker to allow him to run his business on the pavement here.
According to the prosecution, the trio in September 1998 had asked Mohd Saltar, the complainant, who was selling bags from a ‘rehri' in front of police station Badarpur here, to pay Rs 300 per month besides another sum of Rs 20 on every Sunday for carrying out his business.
On basis of Saltar's complaint to ACB, on September 28, 1998, they were arrested and listed in a charge sheet under various provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act. While deciding Chand's appeal, the court said, “In the present case it is observed that the petitioner has been tried and sentenced in accordance with law.
“The appeal preferred by him against his conviction has been dismissed by a well considered decision rendered by this court. The Special Leave Petition preferred by him has also been dismissed by the Supreme Court.”
“The present petition seeks to reopen and re-agitate issues which have attained finality. He has neither pleaded nor urged miscarriage of justice,” the court added.