RTI query reveals ACP held accountable for misplacing crucial information related to India's Most Wanted was excused after a mere scolding; he has a track record that includes a graft case and custodial death of an accused.
What do you think the Mumbai police -- compared to the best in the world for solving high-profile cases -- would do to an officer found responsible for misplacing 12 police files related to global terrorist and India's most wanted, Dawood Ibrahim? Jail? Vigorous interrogation? An inquiry, at least?
What's the status? Social activist Ravindra Pandey had filed an RTI
application, seeking to know the status of the inquiry against ACP Vasant
Dhoble for misplacing the crucial files. PIC/Sameer Markande
The authorities found ACP Vasant Dhoble (56) guilty of misplacing several files related to the evasive underworld don, and the action they took involved a verbal telling off. Nothing more. Nothing less.
The unanticipated leniency shown by the men in khaki was revealed after Nagpada-based social activist Ravindra Pandey (49) filed an RTI application, seeking to know the status of the inquiry against Dhoble for misplacing the crucial files.
In its reply on November 4 (copy with MiD DAY), desk five of the office of the police commissioner stated: In 2008, when Dhoble was posted as an inspector in the Crime Intelligence Unit (CIU), a wing of the Crime Branch, 12 unregistered dossiers on the Dawood gang had disappeared from official records under his watch. But on June 10 the same year, the police department let him off after giving him a warning.
The reply also detailed Dhoble's track record as a cop speckled with allegations of corruption and the death of an accused in his custody.
In his career, Dhoble has been suspended, arrested, even dismissed (but reinstated later) over various allegations, and currently has a departmental enquiry going on against him. "But neither the department nor the state government seems willing to take suitable action against him," Pandey said.
"Just a few months ago, Dhoble was transferred, from the Vidhan Bhavan security, to the enforcement department, which is considered one of the most lucrative postings in the force."
Incidentally, according to police records, in the month of September this year, the D N Nagar police had arrested a man named Dinesh Tule for allegedly extorting local hoteliers. During questioning, Tule claimed that he was acting on Dhoble's behest, that he was an informer of the ACP and the SS Branch. Police records quote Tule saying that he demanded the money for the officer as his son was studying abroad.
As per RTI records, between 1981 and 1994, when Dhoble was posted as an assistant police inspector (API) at D N Nagar police station, an accused Abdul Gaffar Khan died after suffering torture at the hands of Dhoble. After Khan's death, his wife Shakila filed a criminal writ petition against Dhoble in a Sessions court.
On February 18, 1994 the court awarded him seven years of rigorous imprisonment and a cash penalty of Rs 1 lakh. On April 28, 1994, he was dismissed from service but was reinstated on March 19, 1996.
After Dhoble challenged the verdict in the Bombay High Court, the HC, on December 26, 1996, struck down the imprisonment.
When Shakila appealed against the HC order in the Supreme Court, the SC, on September 8, 2003 reserved the HC order and gave a clean chit to Dhoble but ordered then police commissioner to take necessary action against the officers responsible for Khan's death. Since then, a departmental enquiry has been going on in the case.
Other than this Dhoble was once held for bribery. In 1989, when he was posted as a sub-inspector in Pune, the ACB arrested him red-handed while accepting a bribe. He was suspended on June 8, and resumed duty on March 27, 1991.
The other side
When contacted, ACP Dhoble said, "I don't know anything about the RTI reply. I am planning to make Dawood disappear, not his files. I am the only officer in the police force who is searching for Dawood."