Corruption is 'deadliest enemy' of every free civilised society: Gujarat HC

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Ahmedabad, Jul 12 (PTI) Noting that corruption is the 'deadliest enemy' of every free civilised society which has fallen victim to 'rampant corrupt practices of public servants,' the Gujarat High Court has directed a petitioner to approach the appropriate forum with a complaint against police officials for allegedly demanding bribes from him in connection with a case.

The HC, in its July 2 ruling that was made available on its website over the last weekend, said corruption at any level and of any magnitude is condemnable.

'Corruption is the deadliest enemy of every free civilised society. The society has become a victim to the rampant corrupt practices of the public servants,' Justice Gita Gopi observed.

'The corruption at any level by any person of any magnitude is condemnable which cannot be ignored by the judicial officer,' the court said in its order.

The judge asked the aggrieved petitioner in the case, Rajat Patel, to approach the ACB or the appropriate forum with his complaint.

'In the instant case, the applicant still however feels aggrieved by the alleged act of demand of bribe by a public servant, the recourse is available with him to go before the Anti-Corruption Bureau or before the Competent Special Court by filing a complaint under Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, and get his grievance addressed under law,' said the court while disposing of his petition.

As per the case detail, Rajat Patel, a resident of Mehsana district, sought the HC direction for an investigation in connection with threats given to him by a PSI, who is the investigating officer in a case against him, and another officer, who he said demanded bribes from him at regular intervals after arresting him on the basis of 'false and concocted information' on charges of criminal intimidation, assault, etc.' The applicant's cousin sister, Niyatiben, had a family dispute with her husband and in-laws, and the applicant went to her husband for a mutually accepted settlement on April 3, 2018.

The police refused to file an FIR, saying they should settle it as a family dispute, Rajat Patel said in his submission to the HC.

Later, when Niyatibven consumed overdose of medicines and was hospitalised, an FIR was filed against her husband and in-laws at the Visnagar city police station under IPC sections 498(a) (husband subjecting wife to cruelty) and 504 (intentional insult), among others, he said.

Countering this, Niyatiben's husband Deepak Mavjibjhai Patel gave 'false and concocted information' of the April 3, 2018 incident, and a 'completely false' FIR was lodged at the Mahesana taluka police station, he alleged.

Even when the CCTV camera showed him being beaten by his cousin's husband, no FIR was registered for the same, the petitioner said in his submission to the HC.

Thereafter, on different occasions, the respondent police officers demanded from him bribe money, eventually demanding Rs 50,000 to release him on bail, he said.

The petitioner said he moved the high court after they threatened to seize his vehicle. PTI KA RSY RSY

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