Fortune and the powers that be, have certainly been kind towards Avinash Sonawane. A reply to a Right to Information (RTI) plea has divulged that the cop, who recently took over the reins of Mahim police station after having served as senior inspector at LT Marg police station, has 20 serious complaints against his name. Thirteen of these charges are being investigated by Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), zone-II, Nisar Tamboli.
On the basis of the information accessed by him, RTI activist Pravin Tripathi wrote to the president, prime minister and Maharashtra chief minister on July 23 (copy with MiD DAY), demanding a CBI probe against Sonawane.
Tripathi, who runs a stall at Mumbadevi temple premises, has alleged that the cop was trying to implicate him in a false case, as he had exposed LT Marg police through RTI in the past.
“My sources from LT Marg police station inform that Sonawane was trying to frame me in an extortion or dacoity case. I was shocked to find out that while so many charges are pending against the cop, the department has awarded a key post to him,” said Tripathi.
According to the RTI reply (copy with this newspaper), home department, commissioner of police and additional commissioner of police have received 20 complaints against Sonawane.
The office of additional commissioner of police (south region) had received 13 of these, which were forwarded to Tamboli. “I can’t recall the precise number, but I am examining a few charges against Sonawane,” the DCP told MiD DAY.
The other side
“I have never met any Pravin Tripathi. Someone is instigating him against me. I have never violated any rules or regulations. The department transferred me after I asked to be moved out of LT Marg police station. I was transferred on March 28 following my application,” said Sonawane.
Some of the complaints against Sonawane:
>> Home Minister RR Patil ordered an inquiry against Sonawane after BJP leader Vinod Tawde alleged that he was favouring a builder in a case he was investigating
>> Allegedly tried to replace stolen diamonds worth Rs 6 lakh with fakes before returning them to the rightful owner
>> Faces inquiry for having recovered only Rs 50,000 in a case where the complainant had lost more than Rs 15 lakh
>> Was pulled up for slapdash probe in a case where Nakoda Jewellers were cheated
>> Accused of getting a false FIR registered against a man