The Bombay High Court on Wednesday said that if an inter-state racket were to be unearthed during probe into purchase of an imported Toyota Land Cruiser by actress Sushmita Sen, it would consider ordering a CBI probe into the case.
"If it is an inter-state racket, court will consider whether the case is fit to be handed over to CBI," division bench of Justices JN Patel and KK Tated said on Wednesday.
The car was imported to India by one Shriniwas Bala Shetty alias Vasu Thamalla on the pretext that he was bringing the car back after shifting residence to India.
Shetty hypothecated the car to Sushmita through car dealer Haren Choksi in April 2005.
The High Court has ordered Economic Offences Wing of the Mumbai police to probe the whole transaction.
Police suspect that there is a racket, which evades customs duty by importing cars under transfer of residence permit.
A probe report filed by EOW's Nanasaheb Kamble, senior inspector, today informed the court that five persons, namely Shriniwas Shetty (original importer), Haren Choksi (dealer), Mukhtar Damanwala, Jangbahadur Singh Darshan Singh Gujral, and Manohar Lala Mane were arrested during the probe.
At present, they are out on bail. While an RTO officer from Mumbai, Subodh Patel and one Ramesh Dulgach are currently in custody.
Probe revealed that Land Cruiser was imported using a fake passport in the name of Vasu Thamalla and was registered with Mumbai RTO under a false address.
Interestingly, import of another car, which was eventually purchased by Sen, too has come under scanner.