Maval firing: HC refuses to interfere in clean chit to cop

The Bombay High Court today refused to interfere with Maharashtra government's decision of giving clean chit to senior police officer Sandeep Karnik, who is alleged to have opened fire at a group of protesters in Maval near Pune in 2011, killing one woman.

A division bench of justices A S Oka and C V Bhadang disposed of a PIL filed by activist I G Khandelwal seeking action against Karnik. 

According to the petition, Karnik, then Superintendent of Police, Pune rural, had opened fire at the mob and it was his bullet that killed the woman. 

The government had earlier informed the court in an affidavit that explanation was sought from four officers and after perusal of their replies, a warning was issued to Karnik and disciplinary proceedings were initiated against three police officers - inspectors Ashok Patil and Yashwant Gawari and assistant inspector Ganesh Mane.

According to the government, Karnik had fired two bullets in the air to disperse the crowd and had later fired rubber bullets. 

The bench, while disposing of the petition today, observed that the government's decision was not arbitrary and hence refused to interfere. "After perusing the records nothing is shown on record that the deceased died of the bullet fired by Karnik," the court said.

The court had earlier perused the post-mortem and chemical analysis reports of the victim and also the report of the M G Gaikwad Committee. 

On August 8, 2011, police had opened fire on villagers protesting against the government's decision to lay a closed pipeline to supply water from the Pavna dam to the limits of Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation. Agriculturists had claimed that they would not get water for their crops if the closed pipeline was laid.

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