Mumbai, June 30, 2016 :
The state home department has proposed the suspension of JS Naik, the then superintendent of the Nashik jail, holding him guilty of granting parole to Sajjad Mughal, who was convicted for the murder of law professional Pallavi Purkayastha four years ago.
Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, who heads the home department, will take the final call. The state government has also directed the Mumbai police commissioner to send a special crime branch team to Baramullah in Jammu and Kashmir to nab Mughal who jumped parole. A team of officers from the Nashik commissionerate had already been to the Baramullah three days ago.
The state government, sources said, is likely to revise norms on granting parole and furlough in the next ten days.
“We have studied the report and have recommended action against the officer. The parole was granted by the divisional commissioner of Nashik based on the recommendation by Naik, who has been held guilty for recommending the parole from outside the state. Generally, we do not entertain the request by other states as there is higher possibility of the accused jumping bail,” said an official from the home department.
Vijay Satbir Singh, principal secretary, home, said that the final decision against the officer will be taken by Fadnavis. “For us, more important is to nab the criminal, who is at large. We have asked the Mumbai police to dispatch a team of officers to Baramullah at the earliest. Sajjad’s parents still live in Baramullah and we are sure the police will soon nab him,” he said.
The report was submitted to Singh by BK Upadhyay, additional director general of police, on Wednesday. The probe by deputy inspector general (prison) Rajendra Dhamne was announced after reports of Mughal’s disappearance surfaced last week.
The home department allegedly went soft on JS Naik, who granted illegal furlough to two terror-financing accused involved in the fake currency case in 2014. Naik granted furlough to Ravi Ghosh and Nuruddin Islam in contravention of guidelines that the accused in the terror activities are not entitled to get leave. Islam got furlough in June 2014, while Ghosh was granted furlough in September 2015
Alarmed by the furlough to the terror accused, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) wrote to the state government for strict action against Naik in July 2015.
Taking notice of the NIA charges, the government recommended Naik’s suspension, but the police initiated only departmental inquiry citing shortage of staff, source said. Had the home department initiated suspension of Naik, he would not have granted parole to murder convict Sajjad Mughal, sources said.
“The action against Naik was based on the reports by other departments concerned and deemed fit at that time,” said Singh.
“The home department had recommended suspension of the officer, but it was reduced to the departmental inquiry for after jail administration cited the shortage of the staff,” said an official from the home department.