As Indian Police Service (IPS) officers, Abhishek Goyal and Raman Gupta are supposed to uphold the law; it is their duty and calling. On a study trip to Australia, however, the two young officers forgot their oath and indulged themselves: bunking classes, not wearing their uniform; they even took their families along on taxpayers' money.
In a major embarrassment to the state government, the two have now been let off with a rap on their knuckles: a written unconditional apology and recovery of the money that the government spent on sending them for the study tour in Australia (Rs 65,000 each).
While Goyal is Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic), Gupta is serving as Superintendent of Police in the newly formed Anti-Corruption Bureau. Both had gone to Australia as part of a mid-career training programme with the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy (NPA). However, they were not awarded the course completion certificate due to the alleged 'misconduct, gross indiscipline and insubordination'.
The charges against the officers pertain to the training held between November 3, 2015 and November 27, 2015, followed by a foreign exposure study visit from November 29, 2015 to December 4, 2015 in Australia.
The National Police Academy filed a draft charge sheet against the officers and asked for a penalty to be imposed on them (recovery of money spent on their tour). It constituted a two-member team -- S Raveendran, deputy director and Putta Vimaladitya (IPS) - to investigate the alleged misconduct of the officers.
The NPA investigation found that Goyal wore jeans, T-shirt and sports shoes for the forenoon session despite the faculty coordinator having briefed the participants about the dress code. Gupta's conduct was the same.
Also, Goyal and Raman wanted to be exempted from attending the last leg of the scheduled training at Melbourne. Despite the faculty coordinator's refusal, both remained in Brisbane and didn't attend the last leg of the program in Melbourne on December 4, 2015.
The letter states that the officers 'forcefully' brought along their families in the bus from Gold Coast despite clear instructions that families were not allowed to travel on the same bus due to insurance-related instructions.
Although they were warned repeatedly, the officers did not mend their ways and 'showed gross indiscipline and insubordination, vitiating the training atmosphere bringing disrepute to both the Academy and the IPS fraternity'.
"Complaints reached the DG&IGP's office about Goyal and Gupta. Notices were given to both asking for an explanation. Both gave replies with an un-conditional apology and also refunded the money which the government spent on sending them to Australia. The money was refunded to the National Police Academy. After this, the case has been closed and the same was conveyed to NPA, the state government and also to the Ministry of Home Affairs," ADGP, Administration, Praveen Sood told Bangalore Mirror.