Mumbai: High court puts stay on Khar case against Poonam Bhagat

Updated: Dec 14, 2016, 12:41 IST | Vinay Dalvi

The Bombay High Court on Tuesday stayed the proceedings against Poonam Bhagat in the poisoning case filed by her estranged husband Jaidev Shroff

Poonam Bhagat has been locked in an acrimonious divorce battle with her husband Jaidev Shroff
Poonam Bhagat has been locked in an acrimonious divorce battle with her husband Jaidev Shroff

The Khar police can’t seem to catch a break. After their probe in the sensational Sheena Bora murder case came under the scanner, it’s now the case of socialite Poonam Bhagat’s ongoing spat with her husband Jaidev Shroff — director of Rs 2,000 crore United Phosphorous Limited — that has caught the court’s eye. The Bombay High Court on Tuesday stayed the proceedings against Bhagat in the poisoning case filed by her estranged husband, saying, “There are serious violations in the filing of the chargesheet and the investigation of the case”.

To recap: After filing for divorce, the back and forth between the couple culminated in Shroff filing a case at the Khar police station that with the help of a Bengali Baba, Gulam Moin Sufi, Bhagat had tried to poison him.

While Bhagat managed to get anticipatory bail in the matter, the Bengali Baba was arrested. She later claimed that there were “discrepancies” in the investigation and approached the home department’s additional chief secretary, who transferred the case to the Mumbai Crime Branch in September. She then followed up with 34 email reminders, but on December 1, received a letter from the Khar police, asking her to be present in Bandra court for the filing of chargesheet on December 3.

Defiance of order?
Bhagat then approached the Bombay HC, which stayed the matter till December 21, asking the Bandra court to not take cognisance in the matter till then; however, the order seemed to have not been adhered to. The Khar police has, meanwhile, claimed that Bakshi had re-transferred the case to Khar police on his retirement, but the court had again found some discrepancies in the two circulars issued.

On Tuesday, Bhagat’s senior counsel Amit Desai brought two things to the notice of the Bombay HC: That the Bandra court had already taken cognizance of the chargesheet filed against Bhagat, and that despite notifying Bhagat that it would be filed on December 3, it was filed a day in advance.

Citing the handling of the Bora murder case, Desai told the bench, “The same officers are investigating Bhagat’s case in such a hurry that they have investigated a matrimonial dispute in just three months. In other cases, one has to approach courts for police to investigate the case.”

However, special government pleader Sandeep Shinde told the court that the officers had not done anything wrong and they should not be implicated. Khar senior police inspector Ramchandra Jadhav and inspector Dinesh Kadam were present in the court.

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