HC raps traffic cops for chatting on cell phone while on duty

Mumbai, Feb 14 The Bombay High Court today rapped traffic policemen for talking on mobile phone while on duty, saying this amounts to gross misconduct and appropriate action should be taken against such personnel.

A division bench of justices S C Dharmadhikari and Bharati Dangre said the court has witnessed several traffic constables, standing in corners of roads, talking on their mobile phone instead of manning vehicular movement.

"At every nook and corner of the city, one can see these constables standing, playing or talking on their phone or (chatting) with each other. That seems to be their prime duty. The incidental duty is manning the traffic," it said.

The court made the remarks while hearing a public interest litigation filed by traffic constable, Sunil Toke, alleging rampant corruption in the traffic police department.

The bench said, "The traffic policemen are on the spot to man the traffic but now it seems we need someone to keep a watch on them to see if they are performing their duties. This is gross misconduct and dereliction of duty and appropriate action should be initiated."

The joint commissioner of traffic police and another senior official of the department today filed affidavits before the court in this regard.

However, the bench said filing affidavits was not enough and that there has be a concrete change on the ground.

"Sincere efforts have to be made to tackle the issue," the judges said.

The court said the mobile phone numbers of the joint commissioner of traffic police and a senior officer of the department should be publicised so that people can call and complain about bribe-taking and corruption.

The bench posted the petition for further hearing after four weeks and asked for a comprehensive affidavit to be filed by the joint commissioner of traffic police.

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