Calves smuggling at Bangla border; HC rejects plea of BSF men
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Last Updated: Sunday, March 27, 2011, 12:34
  
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.

PTI


First Published: Sunday, March 27, 2011, 12:34


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