4 cops get HC contempt notice for taking 1 year to probe trespass case

Written By kom nampultig on Kamis, 16 April 2015 | 22.23

MUMBAI: Irked that the Mumbai police had failed to probe a city resident's complaint of trespass, despite court orders, the Bombay high court (HC) has issued a contempt notice against four officers who served at Sakinaka police station in the past two years.

A division bench of Justice Ranjit More and Justice Anuja Prabhudessai issued a show-cause notice to the four officers, asking them to explain why contempt of court proceedings should not be initiated against them for disobeying orders.

The four officers—assistant police inspectors Taral and Kandalkar and sub-inspectors S Chavan and Amit Mhatre—have been given four weeks' time to submit their explanation. The HC has also transferred the probe in the case to Crime Branch Unit 9 and asked it to submit a report within four weeks.

"This petition discloses very sorry state of affairs," said the judges. The HC pointed out that though a cognisable complaint had been lodged, the police took over two months to register an FIR. "Even after registration of the FIR, no proper investigation was conducted despite the orders of this court. Though a solemn statement was made before this court that the investigation would be completed within two weeks, for a period of one year thereafter, nothing has been done. The petitioner, therefore, is perfectly justified in making allegation that the investigating agency is hand in glove with the accused," added the court.

Sakinaka resident Jos Kulangara had lodged a complaint that the accused had broken open the locks of his shop on April 20, 2013. When the Sakinaka police failed to take any action, Kulangara filed a petition in high court in May 2013. The police then lodged a complaint on June 16, 2013.

Kulangara filed another petition in HC in 2014, claiming that though his complaint disclosed a serious offence of trespass and house break-in, which is punishable with a maximum jail term of 14 years, the police had booked the accused under a minor offence of house trespass (section 448 of the Indian Penal Code), which is punishable with a maximum jail term of up to one year or a fine of Rs 1,000.

On April 9, 2014, the HC directed the police to look into the allegations and the evidence and file a report within two weeks.

According to Kulangara, despite specific orders by the court, the police had done nothing and were, therefore, liable for contempt. The prosecutor sought to justify the delay, claiming that the problem arose as the officers were transferred.

The high court was not convinced. "We are not at all satisfied by the explanation," said the judges while issuing the notices to the police officers.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/followceleb.cms?alias=trespass,Resident,Mumbai Police,complaint

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