Mumbai: In an embarrassing situation for the Mumbai traffic police, the department’s head constable, Sunil Toke, has filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the Bombay high court, alleging rampant corruption in the police department. The petitioner has sought registration of an FIR and initiation of a departmental enquiry against “corrupt policemen”.
The petitioner stated that there is also every possibility that the director general of police of Maharashtra Police, Mumbai Police commissioner and joint commissioner of police (traffic), will allegedly try to target him through any departmental action or registration of any false case.
The petition filed claims that Mr Toke had joined the police force in 1985 and is presently posted at the Local Armed unit in Worli since August 2016. According to petitioner, during his posting at Goregaon and Wadala traffic police division from 2013 to 2016, he was “shocked and surprised to witness rampant corruption in Traffic Police Department.”
Mr Toke claims that the documents are sought from drivers by the traffic police constables (PC) and assistant police sub-inspector (API) to extract huge amount under the pretext of criminal prosecution. Questioning this practice, petitioner states that, “as per rules the officer having the rank of Police Sub-Inspector (PSI) and above can only check/verify the documents of vehicles.” He further adds that “PCs and APIs harass motorists and extract huge amounts without giving any receipts. This bribes to amount to lakhs of rupees per day.”
It is also alleged in the petition that “whenever there is drive against drunken driving, which is normally twice a week, the concerned team is given a target of five to 10 cases. However, the team catches 40 to 50 persons who could be prosecuted and financially sound people are let off after taking Rs 10,000 to Rs 50,000.”
Similarly, the petition alleges that “hundreds of illegal taxis and rickshaws are plying trade in the city and suburbs, but they are allowed to run their business after they give bribe of Rs 1,000 to 2,000 per month.”
Outline how bribes have to be paid for getting promoted, Mr Toke alleges that “at Goregaon traffic division the policemen have to pay Rs 8,500 per month to in-charge of Traffic Police Chowky to become motorcycle rider in the division.”
From hotel and mall owners to builders of construction sites to cables companies, the petitioner has listed out thbribes doled out to the police department officials. The petition is expected to be heard by the high court on January 23.