Police on Tuesday appealed before the Bombay High Court to file a case against the son-in-law of Kanchan Kothari, under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA). Fifty-year-old Kanchan had sought the court’s permission to commit suicide. The lady had made a similar application before the Lok Ayukta in 2003. However, no orders were passed then.
Kothari was present in the court along with her son, Jitendra (28). Her court-appointed lawyer Chaitanya Pendse told the court that the police had booked a number of cases against her husband and son. He argued that they had lodged a complaint with the Anti Corruption Bureau in 1989 against an officer attached with the Wagle Estate police station who was threatening their neighbour to pay money. A trap was laid, and the officer was arrested. Since then the police are harassing the family by allegedly booking them under false cases.
The Kotharis have been staying in Thane since past 22 years and are running a jewellery showroom. The police alleged that they are into buying stolen jewellery and reselling the same. Several cases are booked with the police against Kanchan’s husband and her son Jitendra.
Public prosecutor Aruna Pai told the court that the Kanchan had written the letter in order to stall the case registered under MCOCA against her son-in-law, who is presently absconding. Her son-in-law Ashok Jain too is in jewellery selling business in Thane since last seven years. He too is booked for allegedly selling stolen jewellery.
Besides, Kanchan had made a similar application seeking permission to commit suicide in 2003 before the Lok Ayukta. "However, after hearing the police version, the Lok Ayukta had not passed any orders," said Pai.
Jitendra, told HT that the police was unnecessarily harassing his brother-in-law. “He has been into jewellery business since last seven years and the police has never visited his shop. After he married his sister, Meena in last April, the police has started harassing him too,” he alleged.
Looking at the allegations and counter allegations, a division bench of Justice Ranjana Desai and Justice AV Mohta asked Kanchan’s lawyer, Pendse to put all the allegations on affidavit and also directed the maharashtra government to reply to the affidavit. The matter is kept on February 13.