HC tells Nagpada cops to 'reread law books'
Questions their decision of dismissing a case of forgery and fabrication as a 'civil dispute'
Passing a strict remark against the Nagpada police that they need to 'reread the law books' the Bombay High Court rapped the officials, especially assistant police inspector (API) Umesh Patil, for their failure to register an FIR against Ismail Lakdawala of Lakdawala Builders and Developers. Based on the court order (Dec 15, 2011), the Nagpada police then registered an FIR (copy with MiD DAY) against Lakdawala under sections 64, 420, 463, 467,468, 471,474, 506 and 120 (b) of the IPC on Dec 16.
Fight for justice: The residents of the Gol Darwaza Chawl, Nagpada
The bench, while hearing a writ petition filed by the residents of Gol Darwaza Chawl against Lakdawala, observed, "We fail to understand as to how the allegation of fabrication and forgery of documents can be a dispute of civil nature. Perhaps, the police officer (API Umesh Patil) who is of the opinion that even such dispute is of civil nature needs to revisit the relevant provisions of the Code."
As per the petition, the residents have accused Lakdawala Builders and Developers -- who have been redeveloping the chawl since 2008 -- of forging the consent letters. The petition further stated that each time the residents approached the Nagpada police, claiming that it was a civil matter API Patil refused to register an FIR. "Stating that it was a civil case, Patil kept refusing to register an FIR. Instead of helping us, Patil colluded with the builders and implicated us in a false case," accused Mohammed Ibrahim Ansari, one of the residents.
On September 23, 2010, the BMC had issued stop work notice (copy with MiD DAY) to the builder and had even asked the police to book him under the MPDA Act if he fails to abide by the notice. Instead, Patil booked four of the residents.
The other side
"It appears that the police is being unnecessarily victimised in this case. We have already registered an FIR against the builder and further investigations are on. What more can I do for the residents?" questioned API Patil.
Despite repeated attempts Ismail Lakdawala remained unavailable for comment.