The Aurangabad bench of the Bombay District Court (HC) recently ordered the Vasmat Nagar Police Station (SHO) in Hingoli District to purchase law books relating to various crimes for the post of police after being arrested for failing to respond to a court inquiry in January 2021. The court requested information on the police response to a teacher’s complaint in 2013. The court had initially imposed a fine of ??10,000 on the officer for dereliction of duty but withdrew the fine. The officer volunteered to contribute ??2,500 to the court library as a gesture of goodwill, after which the court ordered him to buy law books for the police station.

A Ravindra Ghuge bench of justice and Judge BU Debadwar heard a petition filed by a teacher Gopinath Galande asking for instructions against the management of a group of schools who allegedly stopped his salary when he refused to pay an amount gratuity for the continuation of its services. Lawyer KP Rodge told the court that Galande had filed two complaints, one in 2013 and the other in 2017.

The complaint in 2013 was against management after he stopped his salary and asked him to pay ??15 lakh for the continuation of its services and the complaint in 2017 concerned a teacher employed in two schools of the direction at the same time. While the 2013 complaint was dismissed by the police after finding no basis for it, a first information report (FIR) was filed against the management in the 2017 complaint for having the same teacher perceiving the salary of two schools.

Police have completed the investigation into the 2017 complaint and the case will go to trial, hence the court ruled on the petition.

However, the judiciary wanted to know what had happened regarding the 2013 complaint and requested a response from the SHO of the relevant police station on January 14 of this year. After the SHO did not respond, the judiciary requested his presence and imposed a ??10,000 of the officer’s salary.

After the officer argued that he did not get the court order because the fax machine was not working, the court withdrew the costs. The officer then offered to donate ??2,500 at the Aurangabad Court Library, which the court refused and said: “We are of the opinion that the SHO should buy the latest nude acts on criminal laws like the Indian Penal Code; Code of Criminal Procedure ; the Evidence Act, Scheduled Castes Act, and Scheduled Tribes (Atrocity Prevention) Act, 1989; Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses Act, 2012; Prevention of Terrorism Act 2002; Maharashtra Organized Crime Control Act 1999; Prevention of Dangerous Activities of Slumlords, Smugglers, Drug Addicts / Dangerous Persons and Video Pirates in Maharashtra Act 1981; Protection of Women Against Domestic Violence Act 2005, etc. for the rural police station of Vasmatnagar.

The court said that as the petition was based on the 2017 complaint and was being processed, Galande was free to resort to an appropriate remedy to seek redress for his 2013 complaint.