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Apr 20, 2009

HC orders DVAC probe into robbery by inspector

Not satisfied with the progress in investigation against a police inspector accused of robbing a man of Rs 25 lakh, the Madras high court ordered a probe by the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC).


Describing it as a peculiar case which required to be investigated by the DVAC, Justice R Regupathi asked the deputy superintendent of police, Kovilpalayam, Coimbatore, to transmit the case diary and other records to the DVAC director. The latter shall, having regard to the seriousness of the allegations made against the accused inspector (under suspension), appoint a competent officer to investigate the charges and conclude the probe as expeditiously as possible.

The judge was passing orders on a petition from E V Vasavan, who said had gone to Coimbatore on December 12, 2008 to Coimbatore with Rs 25 lakh in cash to make a land purchase at Mettupalayam. However, while he was talking to a , Inspector Dhanapalan , Kovilpalayam, forcibly snatched his car key and took the vehicle away with the cash in it, Vasavan said.

The petitioner further alleged that at the police station, the inspector had threatened to foist a case of carrying unaccounted money or carrying counterfeit notes, if he asked for the money back. Vasavan alleged that the inspector and the broker had already conspired to rob him of the money.

However, the inspector could not get away with it, as the SP, DVAC, made an initial probe and informed the DIG, Coimbatore about the inspector's act. The Coimbatore police recovered Rs 4.99 lakh from him. Counsel for the petitioner contended that the investigation was not satisfactory as the probe officer was a superior officer in the same station as the accused inspector. Two other suspects were yet to be arrested and the remaining sum of money was yet to be recovered, he said.

In his order, the judge said there was a wealth of materials to show the inspector had, under the guise of investigation, indulged in robbery while on duty. Even though the DIG had acted with alacrity and commitment in conducting a probe, a lull had set in thereafter. The pace at which the probe was moving was unusually sluggish, he said, and ordered an expeditious investigation by the DVAC.

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