HC raps cops for leaking police memo to suspects
The Bombay High Court on Tuesday came down heavily on the police department for lapses in investigations into the 2005 murder of a handicapped person allegedly committed by workers of a political party.
The court was displeased with the fact that an interdepartmental dispatch between the senior inspector of Vitthalwadi police station and the area deputy superintendent was divulged to six suspects — themselves named in the letter — who were to be interrogated in connection with the murder.
On Tuesday, a division bench of justices AM Khanwilkar and AR Joshi called it a serious lapse, observing, “It is incomprehensible that such a communication has been disclosed (to six private persons).”
On November 25, 2005, Bhagwandas Mirani, brother of the petitioner, Mahesh Mirani, was murdered. Mahesh in his petition alleged that police have been dragging their feet in the investigations as the suspects are politically connected. Though the appeal names certain men as being responsible for the murder, the case was registered against ‘unknown persons’. A summary report was filed on December 18, 2006, closing the case. It was reopened in 2010 and transferred by the DGP to the CID.
Spilling the beans
Earlier, the court had asked the police to explain how the letter was leaked. As per their replies, on December 20, 2011, deputy superintendent of CID NJ Wakhare, sent a letter to senior inspector Chandrakant Deshmukh of Vitthalwadi police station, Ulhasnagar, directing him to issue summons to eight people — Haresh Krishnani, Rajesh Gemnani, Sunil Dawada, Dilip Dawada, Padma Kamlesh, Girish Ahuja, Guru Iyer and Pravin Kurup — to be present at the CID office at 11 am. The letter was received by Vitthalwadi police station on December 26.
According to Deshmukh’s affidavit, he was on casual leave for three days thereafter, and apparently, the job of serving the summons fell on police naik Pratap Dahine, who instead of delivering summons, handed a copy of the letter itself to six of the eight persons.
However, Wakhare’s affidavit states, “I have no knowledge how the copy of the said letter was in custody of the petitioner and the other persons mentioned.” On June 6, CID too closed the case with a summary report. The court has directed CID to report on July 30 what action has been taken against the concerned officers for leaking the letter.