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HC directs CBI to chargesheet accused

kolkata Updated: Aug 14, 2008 18:37 IST

PTI
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In remarks critical of the role of then Kolkata police commissioner Prasun Mukherjee in the Rizwanur Rehman death case, the Calcutta High Court on Thursday directed the CBI to chargesheet all the seven accused including three police officers.

Those to be chargesheeted are--industrialist Ashok Todi, father-in-law of Rizwanur, his brother Pradip Todi, their cousin A Saraogi, Pappu, a friend of Rizwanur's family, then DCP (Detective Department) Ajay Kumar, ACP Sukanti Chakraborty and SI Krishnendu Das (of anti-dowry unit).

Computer graphics teacher Rizwanur, who was under tremendous pressure to get separated from his wife Priyanka, daughter of Ashok Todi, ever since their marriage, was found dead along a rail track on September 21, last year.

Taking a strong exception to Mukherjee's role, Justice Dipankar Datta observed that he had not stated at his press conference the fact that Todi had met him and that Rizwanur and Priyanka had been called at the city police headquarters at Lalbazar.

It is conclusively inferred that the police had favoured the Todis and the then police commissioner did not respond with correct facts, Justice Datta said in his 120-page order.

Holding that the city police had taken a partial attitude and had failed to discharge it duty while handling the case, he said that the police power had been misutilised.

Rizwanur's death had sparked off widespread furore following which the High Court directed CBI to conduct a probe into the case.

The CBI submitted its report on February 28 to the court stating that Rizwanur had committed suicide, but recommended action against senior city police officers including the then Police Commissioner.

The judge kept its order in abeyance for three weeks to enable the accused to appeal.

The judge also slammmed the CID, which initially probed the case, for going for a preliminary inquiry without filing an FIR.

The CID, he observed, wasted precious 14 days which was enough to provide favour to the accused and sufficient for tampering with evidence.

This was not in accordance with the law and thus the CID had acted irresponsibly which was not expected of them.

About the CBI's way of initiating the inquiry into the case, the judge observed that it was absolutely legal because it had filed the FIR on the basis of certain writ petitions, affidavits and documents available.

However, the court criticised the CBI for recommending a departmental inquiry by the state government against the accused police officers.

Justice Datta stated that his observation in the case was that the local police stations in the city were for the poor and the city police headquarters at Lalbazar was for the rich.

Taking a serious view of the city police, the judge observed that from August 30, 2007 to September 9. 2007 while a married couple (Rizwanur and Priyanka) was seeking help from the police, the police action was totally unconstitutional.

The paper cuttings, CDs and documents he had gone through in the case gave the impression, he observed, that the then police commissioner, Prasun Mukherjee's press conference, held on the day after Rizwanur's body was found, had only added fuel to the whole thing.

Taking a strong exception to the then police commissioner Prasun Mukherjee's role, the court observed that he had not stated at his press conference the fact that Todi had met him and that Rizwanur and Priyanka had been called at the city police headquarters at Lalbazar.

It is conclusively inferred that the police had favoured the Todis and Mukherjee did not come with correct facts and he had misused his power.

The court strongly felt that the city police has shown a partial attitude in the case.

Justice Datta also stated that his observation in the case was that the local police stations in the city were for the poor and the city police headquarters at Lalbazar was for the rich.