An assistant commissioner of police (ACP) allegedly tried to bully officials from the Navghar police station in Mulund (East) after his son was hauled up for sporting tinted windowpanes on his car. The entire episode turned ugly as both parties refused to back down, and finally a non-cognizable (NC) complaint was registered against a traffic policeman and a station diary entry made against the ACP.
On Monday afternoon, traffic police constable Suresh Koli, who is attached to the Vikhroli traffic division, caught Khalid Mulani (30) driving his Swift (MH-03-BE-9786) with tinted windowpanes.
Khalid was asked to hand over his licence and, as per rules, was issued an L.TM (Licence Temporary) challan along with instructions that he should collect his licence from the traffic chowky after removing the tinted glass panes as these were against the law.
According to traffic police officials, Khalid tried to throw his weight around, claiming that he was the son of a serving ACP and that he was being deliberately targeted while the traffic police were allowing other vehicles with tinted windowpanes to pass without fining them.
“He (Khalid) was asked to leave, but he phoned some people and got a video camera to shoot the traffic police functioning at the junction. We objected to his capturing our images on his video camera without permission and we called the police control room and sought police assistance. A mobile police patrolling van from Navghar police station arrived at the spot and we went to the police station,” a traffic police official said.
At police station
When Khalid and the traffic police reached the police station, on-duty Police Inspector Manisha Raokhande enquired about the incident. The traffic police informed her that Khalid had been shooting their video and had not left the spot where he was caught even after having been told to do so.
Khalid in turn asked the officer to register his complaint against the traffic police for not taking action against other four-wheelers with tinted glasses and imposing a fine on only him.
Police sources revealed that Raokhande even tried to make Khalid understand that he could approach higher-ups in the traffic police and register his complaint with the appropriate traffic officer, but he was reluctant to leave the police station and kept insisting that his complaint be taken down.
Police sources said Raokhande then imposed a fine of Rs 500 on Khalid under Section 179 of the Motor Vehicles Act (not obeying instructions of police officer). The sources said Khalid paid the fine, for which a receipt was issued.
At this point, Khalid said he was the son of ACP Noor Mohammed Mulani and contacted his father, who then phoned the police station and asked the officers over there the reason for not registering the complaint of his son. The ACP even spoke to Raokhande, but was not satisfied by her response and decided to visit the police station.
Police sources said that a furious ACP Mulani arrived at the police station in civil dress and stormed into the cabin of Senior Police Inspector Ganesh Gaikwad. Raokhande was summoned to the cabin, and the ACP allegedly reprimanded her (see box).
A few minutes later, Gaikwad instructed Raokhande to register an NC complaint against traffic constable Koli.
Accordingly, an NC complaint by Khalid was lodged under Section 504 of the IPC against Koli.
Raokhande was reluctant to talk about the incident.
“I am not authorised to speak to the media, all I can say is that I followed the instructions of my superior and registered the NC,” she said. “I felt humiliated when the ACP abused and yelled at me for no fault of mine. I have narrated the entire happening (in the station diary) and have brought the facts on record.”
Unfair, says Khalid
Khalid, who runs a consultancy company that advises petrol pumps, refuted the allegations made by both the traffic police and PI Raokhande.
“I did not throw my weight around with the traffic police,” he said. “I gave them my licence and informed them that I was not aware about the latest rules pertaining to tinted glasses. However, to my dismay, I saw the traffic constables not taking action against other violators; two vehicles with similar tinted glass were stopped in front of me, but after the owners spoke to the constables, they were allowed to leave without fine or seizure of licence. As this was unfair, I just said that the law should be equal for everyone. I then made a call and got my video camera, which was done purely with the intention of proving the discrimination. But they (traffic police) pushed me and wanted me to stop shooting.”
He also claimed that the woman officer at the police station was rude and that she, even after he had paid the fine, refused to take down his complaint against the traffic police.
Khalid also alleged that Raokhande tried to push him when he told her he was the son of ACP Mulani.
“She wanted me to call my father and desired to speak to him, and when my father phoned her, she was very rude to him and hence he came to the police station,” he said. He also denied the allegation that his father yelled at the PI.
ACP Mulani also denied he had yelling at or scolded the Raokhande.
“I wanted to know why my son’s complaint was not registered, and when I spoke on the phone to PI Raokhande, she was rude and did not reply to me,” he said.
“Also, as I am a superior officer, she should have replied with due respect, which was missing, and hence I went to the police station.”
About the claims made by the traffic police, Mulani said, “The area where my son was caught by the traffic police is not a prohibited area, where photography is not permitted. Also, it is the duty of the police to register a complaint of any member of the public if he or she approaches them.”
Mulani even asked why a police inspector had intervened when a complaint is usually lodged with the station duty officer, who is a PSI rank officer.
“I have now submitted my written complaint against the police inspector to the Additional Commissioner of Police (East) and have requested him to look into the matter,” Mulani said.
Additional Commissioner of Police (East) Qaiser Khalid said, “I have just received a complaint from ACP Mulani against the woman officer. It will be too premature to make any statement at this stage, before making an inquiry into the entire episode. We will look into all the parameters and hear both parties, look for circumstances and even CCTV footage, if required, to give a fair hearing to both parties, as it is an internal matter.”
Assistant Commissioner of Police (Traffic-East) Vilas Pawar said, “I was appraised about the incident by my staff. It is unfortunate that instead of reprimanding his own son for misbehaving with the traffic police, ACP Mulani tried to throw his weight around with a woman police officer. This is unfair.”
Senior Police Inspector Ganesh Gaikwad of the Navghar police station said, “It was an internal matter and we do not discuss such issues with journalists. I am unaware about any inquiry or complaint made against PI Raokhande by ACP Mulani, and if any such matter comes to my notice, I will look into it from all angles.”
The war of words
Excerpts of the conversation between Assistant Commissioner of Police Noor Mohammed Mulani and Police Inspector Manisha Raokhande (as revealed by police sources present at the police station)
ACP: You are not doing a favour to me by doing your job. Why are you not taking the complaint of my son? Do you have any problem?
PI: There is no such complaint; he (Khalid) was neither beaten nor abused by the traffic police, so what complaint should I register?
ACP: You don’t teach me the law, you register his complaint.
(PI remains mum)
ACP: The car does not have tinted glass, I will prove this in the court. Also I will challenge you (PI) in the court. (PI remains mum)
ACP: My son was abused and pushed by the traffic police, mention this in the complaint.
PI: Sir, such a complaint cannot be registered.
ACP (shouting at the PI): I do not want to speak to a lady like you.
(At this stage the PI leaves the cabin and prepares a station diary entry against the ACP, narrating the incident)
ACP (just before leaving the police station): I will take transfer to this division and then I will show you.
ACP’s son: I know where you stay and I also know what should be done to you.
[ACP Mulani denied such a conversation took place at the police station]