New Delhi: Smuggling of ten calves from
India to Bangladesh on receiving Rs 300 as bribe on a pair of
animals has cost dearly to two BSF jawans whose sacking from
the force has been upheld by the Delhi High Court.
"The plea that past service record of the petitioners
is spotless is neither here nor there. The adequacy or
inadequacy of penalty is within the jurisdiction of the
Disciplinary Authority and unless manifestly disproportionate
cannot be interfered by a Court," a bench of Justices Pradeep
Nandrajog and Suresh Kait said.
The court upheld the order of BSF`s Disciplinary
Authority dismissing constables Tanveer Ahmed Khan and Ajay
Kumar from the force saying their act was in gross violation
of service rules.
It rejected the plea of the constables that they be
reinstated as it was their first alleged offence.
"The plea the penalty imposed was disproportionate, we
may note that the fact that petitioners were found actively
involved in cattle smuggling on July 28, 2007 does not mean
that this was their first attempt to do so," the bench said.
It also dismissed the plea that they were framed at
the behest of Inspector Gopal Ram who deposed against them.
"Suffice would it be to state that the plea on which
malice is predicated is preposterous. They want us to believe
that Inspector Gopal had wanted them to facilitate smuggling
of cattle and charged Rs 300/- per pair of cattle and hand
over the money to him ....while raising the plea, are
blissfully ignorant of the fact that a calf was admittedly
seized from the spot in a position which clearly indicates
that the calf was being smuggled across," it said.
The BSF claimed the Inspector was informed through his
source that smuggling was facilitated in some areas falling
under BOP Lal Bazaar on the days when the weather was bad.
On 28th July 2007, the BSF constables were caught red
handed while facilitating the smuggling and one calf was also
recovered from the border near village Gitaldah Bara Mircha.
"Both of them accepted that they acted negligently
while on duty," the BSF said, adding that the duo entered into
a deal with smugglers for allowing five pair of calves to be
crossed over to Bangladesh.
"Apart from their confessional statements is the
testimony other BSF men who have proved cattle smuggling
taking place right under their nose and the recovery of one
calf which was entangled in the fence," it said.
"It may be true that apart from the confessions there
is no evidence that petitioners were to receive illegal
gratification ... but surely, they were not innocent
by-standers," the bench concluded.