The Bombay High Court on Tuesday hinted at prosecuting Additional Chief Secretary Home Department Chitkala Zutshi, Mumbai police chief Hasan Gafoor, Additional Commissioner of Police Archana Tyagi and Senior Police Inspector Laxman Bhure of the Bandra police station, for contempt of court.
“These officials have willfully disobeyed the court’s orders,” said a division bench of Justices Bilal Nazki and A.R. Joshi, adding that the court would prosecute them for failing to take departmental action against Machhindra Bodkhe, a Khar police officer.
The matter dates back to November 22, 2006, when a division bench of the high court transferred investigation on complaints filed by Khar resident Ramdayal Soni to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
The bench had also ordered the then additional chief secretary (Home), commissioner of police, additional commissioner of police and deputy commissioners of police of the region to submit a report of departmental action taken against Bodkhe within a year.
When no report was filed, Soni moved court again. His counsel, Sanjeev Kadam, found that no action had been taken against Bodkhe even 18 months on. In November, the court issued contempt notices to the four authorities.
Zutshi and Tyagi filed their replies, tendering unconditional apologies and saying they did not intend to disobey the court’s orders. Both explained that Bhure had been entrusted with conducting the enquiry against the officer. Bhure, however, did nothing for eight months and returned the papers after his transfer to Bandra police station, without doing anything.
The judges were also angered by the fact that the report was not submitted even after issuance of contempt notices.
Even the departmental enquiry report was placed before them on Tuesday only after the officers were scolded. The court has now adjourned the matter till Thursday.