IPS officer faces probe, HC seeks response on contempt plea

 A senior IPS officer, who allegedly punished a constable by making him crawl for not saluting him at Patiala House district courts complex here, was today ordered by Delhi High Court to give his response to a contempt plea besides facing a police probe.

"We issue notice to the Delhi Police Commissioner as well as to the additional DCP concerned. We also direct the Police Commissioner to file a status report about the incident on February 15," a bench of Acting Chief Justice A K Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw said.

The court's direction came on oral submissions of lawyer R K Saini seeking initiation of criminal contempt proceeding against Additional DCP Seju P Kurvila for "delowering" and "scandalising" the court and its proceedings.

Kurvila had allegedly punished the constable who was said to be talking on his mobile phone while on duty at a gate of the court premises.

Delhi Police asked its Joint Commissioner (Crime) Sandeep Goel to conduct an inquiry into the allegations against Kuruvila.

The Joint Commissioner has been asked to conduct the inquiry as per the directions of the court, Delhi Police spokesperson Rajan Bhagat Singh said.

A senior police official said Goel will inquire into the incident and if needed will take statements of the constable and Kuruvilla.

Citing various news reports on the incident which hit the headlines, Saini alleged before the High Court that the order of the District judge of the Patiala House courts was "inappropriate as he has simply forwarded the complaint of some lawyers to the police chief for taking action as per the law".

"The police officer, who himself was not in uniform, took exception to the behaviour of the constable who did not salute him. Not only that, the police officer tore the badge and snatched his mobile phone and awarded the inhuman and indecent punishment for a non-existing offence," Saini alleged and cited various reports to support his plea.

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