Monday, June 17, 2024

Delhi court covicts SI in bribery case, quotes ‘Marvel’ maxim

A Delhi court on Thursday convicted a police sub-inspector, who was posted at Lodhi Colony police station, in a bribery case, observing that power cannot be enjoyed simply for its privileges alone, but it necessarily makes its holders morally responsible.

SI Gopal Singh was held guilty by Special Judge Namrita Aggarwal, who said that being public servants having so much power, police officers are expected to set a standard for the society by being available to the public when in need.

As per the prosecution, the accused asked for a bribe of Rs 2 lakh from the complainant named Anita. The demand was made in exchange for removing Anita and her husband’s names from a complaint filed against them regarding a dispute that the accused was investigating.

Quoting a famous maxim by ‘Marvel’ comics and films, the judge said: “‘With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility’ is an adage which though popularised by Marvel comics and films, became an arduous code of conduct, especially for public servants. It means that power cannot be enjoyed simply for its privileges alone, but necessarily makes its holders morally responsible both for what they choose to do with it and what they fail to do with it.”

She stated that it is crucial for individuals in positions of authority to approach power with humility and skepticism, recognising that they do not inherently deserve that authority and that it becomes their responsibility to treat those under their authority with dignity.

She also emphasised that the police force has a pervasive presence within the society, serving as a visible representation of the government.

As public servants entrusted with significant powers, police officers are expected to establish a societal benchmark by being readily available to the public in times of necessity, she said.

“They play a vital role in the protection of Right to Life, Liberty, Security etc. enshrined in the Constitution of India. Thus, the need for police accountability is made evident by the great powers that police forces wield,” she said.

“It can be safely inferred that the complete chain of circumstances was established beyond reasonable doubt and without a snap, thus proving the guilt of the accused. Thus, accused Gopal Singh is convicted for offence under Section 7 (bribery) of Prevention of Corruption Act,” she added.

Arguments on the quantum of sentence will be heard on June 9.

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