Former Commissioner of Police S. George, arraigned in the gutkha case, conceded on Friday that a scam did take place, though he sought to blame his subordinate.
Addressing reporters at his residence in Nolambur, Mr. George, a retired DGP-rank officer, claimed that the then Deputy Commissioner of Police (Central Crime Branch) S. Jayakumar had not passed on information about the scam. If he had done so, it could have been averted, he said.
“I am not saying that there is no gutkha scam. There is a scam…something has happened, nobody is saying that it has not happened,” he said, not ruling out the possibility of someone having collected money in his name.
Mr. George contended that on the dates on which the gutkha manufacturers were alleged to have paid him bribes to allow the sale of the contraband, he was not the Chennai police commissioner.
He also rubbished the charge that he had received money as an ex-police commissioner for Christmas.
“Why should an ex-commissioner be paid? Somebody would have used the name of the commissioner and taken the money,” he said. I am not aware of the Book of Accounts (seized from a gutkha manufacturer)… let it be verified and investigated,” he said.
He claimed that Mr. Jayakumar did not inform him about the scam. “The DCP as an officer working under me should have informed the Additional Commissioner of Police (about the scam), but he didn’t…After knowing that this happened, I wrote to the government to investigate the matter,” the former commissioner said.
Mr. Jayakumar had failed in his duties by not reporting the matter to senior officers, Mr. George said. He said that following the incident, he had given a below average grading to the DCP in his annual appraisal report.
He also claimed that documents pertaining to the gutkha scam, based on a letter written by the Income Tax Department to the government, were timed and leaked in the public domain to subvert the appointment process of the DGP. The whole issue “was brought (out) at the time when either me or T.K. Rajendran (the incumbent DGP) were about to become the DGP… the whole thing was put out in the papers to prevent me and Rajendran from becoming DGP.”
He wanted to know who leaked confidential documents of the I-T department. “Where have the official documents given to the previous DGP [Ashok Kumar] gone,,” he asked.
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