Prison dept prepares list of 25 controversies to push for strictest action against corrupt jail superintendent
The noose around Hiralal Jadhav is tightening. The state prison department has prepared a proposal recommending the most stringent action against the suspended Thane Central Jail superintendent for his string of alleged corrupt activities and repeated misdemeanours.
mid-day has learnt that the department has compiled a list of 25 'controversies' that its most notorious officer was involved in and has initiated the process of sending a recommendation on the strictest punishment -- which could be his dismissal -- to the state government.
Sources in the prison department said the office of the IGPâÂÂÂÂ(south prisons), Byculla, has sent a 'default' report, listing his controversies, to the additional director general's (ADG) office in Pune, where the department has its headquarters. The report recommends the strictest action possible against Jadhav. The ADG's office is expected to send this report to the government soon.
Among the list of 'controversies', the most infamous are his abuse of powers during his stint as the Thane prison head -- he took bribes from inmates and looked the other way as they lived it up in jail -- misusing the prison department's funds to purchase fuel for his private car, and sexually harassing women officers and subordinates.
Sources said the last straw was the indiscipline he exhibited at the time when the prison department was under fire following the riot over the alleged murder of inmate Manjula Shetye in the Byculla jail. Even as the department was fighting fire from all sides, another controversy erupted when a screenshot of DIG (prisons) Swathi Sathe's WhatsApp message, in support of the six Byculla jail personnel whose thrashing was alleged to have caused Shetye's death, was leaked.
Jadhav was assumed to be the person behind the leak as he had also written to the chief minister, claiming that Sathe was rallying support within the department for the alleged assaulters.
He even filed an intervention report on a public interest litigation filed in the HCâÂÂÂÂon the Byculla jail murder and sought action against Sathe and other jail officials. In its response to the intervention report, the prison department attached a list of 23 controversies against Jadhav to discredit him.
A senior jail official said Jadhav's corrupt practices and misconduct had brought a bad name to the prison department, which is why the strictest punishment against him was being sought.
ADG (Prisons) Bhushan Kumar Upadhyay said there are multiple departmental inquiries against Jadhav. "We are awaiting the report from the special committee formed to probe a recent sexual harassment allegation. Once it is filed, strictest action will be sought."
Jadhav was unavailable for comment despite repeated attempts.
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