JALALABAD RESIDENT SPENDS OVER THREE LAKHS TO FIGHT A LEGAL BATTLE FOR THREE YEARS FOR HIS STOLEN MOBILE PHONE WHICH HE HAD BOUGHT FOR RS 6,500
After spending lakhs of rupees in fighting a legal battle for nearly two-and-a-half-year, a resident of Jalalabad got his stolen mobile phone back, which he had purchased for Rs 6,500. However, unwilling to let the ‘negligent’ cops go scot-free, the harassed man, despite facing several threats and ‘fake’ cases, kept on fighting with the system and finally on Wednesday got the Police Inspector concerned face a severe departmental action, which included the deletion of his two years’ service along with a restriction on his increments in the salary. Harpreet Singh Mehami (50), an RTI activist in Jalalabad, while speaking to Daily Post here, informed that he had bought a Samsung phone worth Rs 6,500, which got stolen from his office in October 2015. He sent his complaint to the police station through a registered letter but the Jalalabad police refused to register a case. Irked of police behavior, which he claimed was completely unprofessional, Mehami filed a complaint before Judicial Magistrate KD Singla, who then ordered the police to do perform the duty in the case. The orders, which came about 11 months after the mobile phone was stolen, police entered his complaint in the register but failed to trace the phone, stating that it was not stolen but a case of lost phone, which Mehami further challenged with a claim that the police in its closure report mentioned wrong details of case.
Mehami met several senior police officers, but to no avail and, finally, moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court in 2016, from where the court directed the state police to get the matter probed. He then approached the Bureau of Investigation (BoI) to look into the matter. The probe was then assigned to AIG Crime (Bathinda), who after verifying the facts indicted the then Jalalabad SHO Jaswant Singh, investigating officer Kashmir Singh and Head Constable Bhajan Singh, and recommended departmental action. Divulging more details, the complainant claimed that police threatened him and even implicated in face case to build pressure. Meanwhile, Jaswant Singh got transferred to Moga and the matter also shifted to Moga SSP to probe further. “Finding it getting delayed, I then sought the details of probe through RTI application. The PIO then refused to share the details claiming that it was related to individual’s privacy, which I challenged in the State Information Commission,” he added. Meanwhile, a team under the guidance of the senior superintendent of police of Fazilka managed to find Mehami’s stolen phone. The stolen mobile phone was recovered from an employee at the Jalalabad civil hospital. The phone was handed over to Mehami through the court process. However, committed to take the matter to its logical end, Mehami kept on pursuing the case with Information Commission and finally during the final hearing there on Wednesday, he was informed that the Punjab Police have initiated a severe departmental action against the Inspector concerned, which included the deletion of his two years’ service along with a restriction on his increments in the salary. Still, not satisfied with the action, as he claimed that the police saved the two other indicted in the court, Mehami stated that he would now file another case in the court to get his damages recovered and also for seeing the ‘negligent’ cops booked in a criminal case under sections of IPC.
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