Pranab Mukherjee
Pranab Mukherjee

New Delhi: In a rare instance, a gallantry medal given to a Punjab Police officer in 1997 was withdrawn by the President after the awardee was sentenced to life imprisonment for murder.

Gurmeet Singh, a sub-inspector with the Punjab Police, was awarded the police medal for gallantry in 1997 on a proposal submitted by the state government for his bravery during service. At the time of awarding him the gallantry medal, the Punjab government had issued integrity certificate in favour of the officer.

Later, a criminal case was registered against Singh in 2001 for murder. He was convicted and given life imprisonment in 2006 and subsequently dismissed from the service.

The Union home ministry came to know about the conviction of the officer only in July, 2015. Soon the matter was taken up with the Punjab government, which confirmed the conviction and advised the ministry to initiate the process of withdrawal of the medal.

After taking views of the intelligence agencies, the home ministry sent a proposal to President Pranab Mukherjee for withdrawal of the police medal awarded to Singh.

The President had on June 7approved the proposal to withdraw the police medal for gallantry, a home ministry official said.

As per the guidelines issued by the home ministry, the gallantry medal is withdrawn when the awardee is convicted by any court of law for such an act or conduct involving moral turpitude which brings the police force into disrepute or awardee is dismissed from service for similar act.