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Police officer serves legal notice on Bihar minister


Patna : A senior Indian Police Service (IPS) officer who was at the receiving end of a Bihar minister’s wrath has served a legal notice on the politician, warning that a defamation suit would be filed if an apology was not forthcoming.

Urban Development and Housing Minister Bhola Singh was served the notice early this week for allegedly humiliating and insulting Paresh Saxena, then posted as the superintendent of police of Gaya, 100 km from here, at a function in the city last month.

Saxena’s lawyer Ritesh Kumar said the legal notice was served on Singh and state chief secretary R.J.M. Pillai under Section 80 of the Code of Civil Procedure that mandates a 60-day period before filing a defamation suit against a government official or agency.

According to the notice, Singh “badly insulted and demoralised” the officer by using “offending, libelous and defamatory” language at a function for not presenting a bouquet to the minister. The notice quoted the minister as saying “Shasan hum karte hain, adhikari nahi (We rule, not officials)”.

Hurt by minister’s remarks, Saxena sought state police chief D.N. Gautam’s permission to file a defamation suit. Not only was this denied, but Saxena was transferred to the police headquarters here in what is considered a punishment posting.

Saxena, a 1994-batch IPS officer of the Bihar cadre, was Thursday awarded the Randhir Prasad Verma Samman at a function here. The award is named after another IPS officer who was killed by a criminal while resisting a bank robbery in 1991.

“The award is conferred on a brave and dutiful officer every year,” said R.K. Sinha, the president of the award committee.