The Supreme Court on Wednesday set aside the Bombay High Court order directing registration of an FIR against its cops who were allegedly involved in the shootout of gangster Sandeep Gagoli in a Mumbai suburb hotel.
A bench of justices V Gopala Gowda and Arun Misra accepted attorney general Mukul Rohatgi’s plea that the HC verdict was delivered without hearing the police version. Maharashtra government counsel Nishant Katneshwarkar also informed the bench that the state had never assured registering an FIR in the case.
Katneshwarkar said during the proceedings before the HC, the state government had said that it will look into the allegations and take appropriate steps.
After hearing Rohatgi and the Maharashtra counsel the bench quashed the HC order. It said in case the aggrieved approach the HC again, the latter cannot pass any order without hearing the Haryana police.
Rohatgi said the FIR was ordered against the officials merely on the basis of the consensual statement given by the public prosecutor of Mumbai.
Haryana police defended the shootout, saying a search operation was carried out by the police officials to nab notorious gangster Sandeep Gadoli of Gurgaon in Haryana who was named in as many as 40 FIRs since 1999.
“The said gangster was presently wanted in eight FIRs registered for heinous crimes in Haryana alone, of which in three FIRs, he was declared proclaimed offender. There was a reward of R1 lakh on the head of the aforesaid gangster by Haryana Police,” read the state police appeal.
It said the state officials were only discharging their official duties at the time of the aforesaid incident and carrying out a meticulous operation which lasted for almost 48 hours to nab a notorious gangster which can be verified and cannot be said to be a “fake encounter”.
“Consequently, the direction for registration of FIR against the police officials of the petitioner state is not only demoralising but shocking for the entire police machinery of the state. As such, if the second FIR will be registered against the innocent police officers of the petitioner, it will be causing undue harassment and embarrassment to them,” the plea said.