The Bombay high court (HC) on Wednesday dismissed the writ petition and all applications filed by the brother of Gurgaon gangster Sandeep Gadoli, who was killed in an alleged encounter by the Haryana police in Mumbai last month.
Gadoli who kept the Gurgaon police on its toes for over two decades, was killed in an encounter at a hotel in Mumbai on February 7. Carrying a reward of Rs. 1.25 lakh and wanted in a string of murder cases, Gadoli was killed at the Airport Metro Hotel in Andheri East.
Gadoli’s brother, Kuldeep Singh, approached the HC, claiming that the encounter was ‘fake’ and demanded all eight Haryana policemen involved in the incident and the assistant commissioner of police (ACP), Gurgaon, be booked for “murder”. Singh wanted a second post-mortem examination of Gadoli’s body.
On Wednesday, however, a bench of justices Ranjit More and Shalini Phansalkar-Joshi dismissed his pleas after Attorney General Mukul Rohtagi, representing the Haryana police, argued that the Mumbai police could not register multiple FIRs for the same incident as it would lead to “clutter and chaos” and prejudice the investigation.
Rohtagi was referring to the HC order of February 15, where a bench lead by Justice More ordered the Mumbai police to register an FIR against nine members of the Haryana police, including the Gurgaon assistant commissioner of police.
The Supreme Court stayed the order and the case was sent back to the HC with directions that the Haryana policemen be made a party and granted a fair hearing.
Rohtagi reminded the bench that the Mumbai police already registered an FIR based on the Haryana police’s complaint against Gadoli on charges of attempt to murder. Investigations will also cover probing the role of the Haryana police.
He argued that Gadoli, Singh and their younger brother have criminal antecedents and thus, their allegations must not be taken at face value.
“The police can’t keep filing FIRs based on each party’s grievances. The kin of the deceased will naturally cry foul. But, they must either go to the concerned police station or approach the trial court, not HC,” Rohtagi said.
He also told the HC that the authorities followed the guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court in its 2014 PUCL judgement, “which is a bible for dealing with procedures of encounter cases,” and thus, Singh’s plea seeking a second post-mortem examination must not be accepted.
Singh, through his advocates Tanveer Nizam and Nitin Pradhan, argued that he had a right to have his grievances heard and get an FIR registered.
He refused to collect Gadoli’s body, which is at the JJ Hospital morgue in Mumbai since the encounter.
Sandeep Gadoli had more than 30 criminal cases, including extortion, against him.