The Delhi High Court has pulled up the police for its failure to conclude the probe into a “sting operation” in which many traffic policemen were purportedly filmed taking bribes from Blueline bus operators. A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar also said the investigation had not been carried forward “meticulously and punctiliously” despite its direction. “Draft challan (charge sheet) was prepared in 2008 and till now you (Delhi police) have not filed the detailed report,” the bench noted and asked the counsel for the investigating officers “what have they done all these years?” “It is shocking that for 10 years, you have not filed the charge sheet,” it added. The court also expressed concern over the delay in receiving forensic report related to the case. The court has now fixed the matter for December 11, when it has sought the presence of the CBI. Dealing with the issue of delay in forensic reports, the bench said, “The need to upgrade infrastructural facilities and have more experts, equipment and forensic laboratories in such circumstances need not be emphasised and is accepted.” “These are aspects, which must be immediately taken notice of and appropriate remedial action should be taken by the Government of NCT of Delhi, the Commissioner of Police, the CBI, and the Government of India, Ministry of Home Affairs,” it said.
The court’s direction came on a plea by a property dealer, who claimed that he had not heard of any “investigation or progress from Delhi Police in (the) FIR” registered in April 2008. The “sting operation” was conducted in 2008 by petitioner Chetan Sharma at 30 different points in the national capital and over 90 traffic police personnel were caught on camera allegedly accepting bribes from Blueline bus operators. Besides this, he also conducted sting operations and allegedly captured audio-video recordings of municipal corporation officers taking bribes from public.
The stings were conducted with the help of some Blueline operators who were being “harassed” by the traffic police, the plea said. Blueline buses have subsequently been phased out by the Delhi government.
The matter was brought to the notice of the high court through a PIL and copies of the tapes were forwarded to the Union Home Ministry, the Delhi Police Commissioner and the Central Vigilance Commission to verify their authenticity and take proper action.