In a historic ruling, a former additional commissioner of police in the city was convicted on Wednesday by a special Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) court in a 13-year-old corruption case. AK Jain, a 1982 batch IPS officer of Maharashtra cadre, and his chartered accountant Prasanna Lodha have been sentenced to five years of imprisonment and have been fined Rs 1.5 lakh each.
“Special sessions judge SK Keole announced the conviction of Jain and Lodha today,” said Arun Wable, investigation officer, ACB. After the court pronounced the judgment, Jain and Lodha were taken into custody.
In May 2000, then deputy commissioner of police Sadanand Date raided a bar in Byculla police’s jurisdiction, as it was open late at night beyond the permissible time. Date sent his report to Jain, then additional commissioner of police (central region), so appropriate action could be taken against then police inspector at Byculla police station, Sanjeev Kokil, who was in charge on the night the bar was raid. But Jain approached Kokil through his CA Lodha and demanded Rs 5 lakh from him in exchange for clearing his name from the inquiry.
But Kokil – who is reportedly known to have turned down bribes in the past — registered an FIR with the ACB against Jain under the Prevention of Corruption Act. In June 2000, the ACB arrested Jain and Lodha. The incident had left the police department shaken since it was the first time in the state and possibly the country that an IPS officer had been arrested in a bribery case. On June 17, 2000 Jain was suspended by invoking the provisions of the All-India Services (Discipline and Appeal) Rules (AISDA). Jain’s suspension was continued through intermittent orders for the same.
A cop’s regret
Talking to MiD DAY, Kokil said, “It is regretful that my top boss, an IPS level officer, has been convicted in a graft case. But this ruling will serve as a lesson for all senior cops and deter them from harassing their subordinates. I am thankful to the judicial system.”
Kokil fired for graft
A 1982-batch MPSC officer, Sanjeev Bhagwan Kokil is known for his clean image. But last month, the cop was dismissed from the police department on the charge of corruption. Kokil claimed that he is the victim of a conspiracy. The graft allegations against Kokil came from shop owners in Musafirkhana, whose establishments were facing the BMC’s bulldozers for breaching construction norms. The shop owners had accused Kokil of trying to extort money from them. Earlier, as senior inspector at the MRA Marg police, Kokil had provided police protection to the civic demolition squads that were to raze down their shops, known to have come up illegally with the patronage of underworld-politician-police nexus.