The Bombay High Court on Monday issued notice to Baba Siddiqui, minister of state for labour and food and civil supplies, for allegedly pressurising police to go slow in a police compliant for demolition.
A Khar resident, Lalchand Soni had lodged a compliant with Khar police station alleging that his neighbour, Gopal Sharma, demolished part of his flat in 2005 by sending people in the guise of BMC persons.
According to Soni’s lawyer, Sanjiv Sawant, Siddiqui was pressurising the police to go slow on the investigation. A division bench of Justice JN Patel and Justice R Dalvi issued notice to Siddiqui asking him to file reply by November 13.
Denying the allegations, Siddiqui told Hindustan Times that it had become a common habit to blame politicians for everything. “Whole country knows me. I do not interfere with any work concerning demolition,” said Siddiqui. When asked whether he knows either Soni or Sharma, Siddiqui said that off hand the names did not ring a bell.
On June 28, 2005, Sharma along with his sons and with help of some unknown persons demolished Soni’s flat on the third floor of on Satnam Cooperative Housing Society in Khar west, alleges his petition. Soni further alleges that once again in last September, roof and balconies of the flat were extensively damaged Sharma and also committed theft of articles amounting to Rs 2 lakh.
Information sought from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) under the Right to Information Act, stated that the demolition was not carried out by the assistant municipal commissioner of the H-West ward on June 6, 2005.
Soni then approached the High Court seeking that the investigation be transferred to the Criminal Investigation Department as the local police is influenced by Sharma with his political connections.