The Madras High Court has not found anything wrong with the police department for dismissing dismissed from service a Special Sub Inspector of Police (SSI) for visiting a house at midnight and misbehaving with a woman and her daughter.
Justice S.M. Subramaniam wrote that the punishment imposed on the SSI could not be termed disproportionate to the charge as the latter was undoubtedly engaged in a serious misconduct, infringing upon the fundamental rights of citizens. He dismissed a writ petition filed against the dismissal order. The judge observed that the Director-General of Police, the Thanjavur Range Deputy Inspector-General of Police and the Tiruvarur Superintendent of Police had rightly taken into account the consequences of men in uniform visiting lone women at odd hours, before imposing the punishment.
He pointed out that the charge of the SSI having visited the mother-daughter duo during night hours and having threatened to foist a prostitution case against the latter to spoil her future had been proved in a departmental inquiry, conducted by a Deputy Superintendent of Police.
Therefore, the Superintendent of Police had found the SSI unfit to serve in the police force and dismissed him from service in 2013. The punishment was confirmed by the DIG and then DGP in 2016, leading to the present writ petition in which the authority of the Superintendent to impose the punishment was questioned.
It was argued that the Superintendent of Police could impose punishment only upon those holding the post of head constable and below and that any punishment on the SSIs could be imposed only by the DIG. However, after finding that the post of SSI was just an upgradation of head constable, the judge held that the SPs were entitled to punish them.