The Bombay High Court has ordered the arrest of a 72-year-old woman suffering from cancer for allegedly trying to usurp a flat in Peddar Road.
A division bench of Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice PD Kode, on Monday, directed the Gamdevi police to arrest Madhuri Mehta following petition filed by her brother-in-law Shashikant Mehta, 76.
Reprimanding the officer for his “biased person”, the court observed that her ailment could not be grounds not to arrest her.
The court added that it was not that medical facilities could not be made available if Mehta was taken into custody.
The high court has now directed the assistant commissioner of police (Gamdevi division) to probe the case and file a compliance report of her arrest at the next hearing, on October 20.
Shashikant had pleaded that the police was not investigating the case properly and had sought a transfer of the probe to an independent agency.
Ayaz Khan, Shashikant’s lawyer, argued that Madhuri had attempted to take over the 6th floor flat at Mitra Kunj Co-Operative Housing Society, opposite Jaslok Hospital.
According to his petition, he had allowed his brother Manukant and his wife Madhuri to live with them. Manukant passed away in July 2008.
In November 2008, Shashikant learnt that Madhuri had applied to the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) to get the electric meter changed in her name. Shashikant obtained a copy of Madhuri’s application from the BEST under the Right To Information Act.
With her application, Madhuri had attached the society’s maintenance bill, which was forged, alleged Shashikant’s petition.
Khan argued that the police refused to register his complaint. He then filed a private complaint with the metropolitan magistrate, which directed the Gamdevi police to inquire into the case. When the police failed to take any action, Shashikant moved the high court.
Rapping the police for their lethargy, the court observed that the police had not even seized the original maintenance receipt, which was crucial. Also, the charge sheet had been filed, and there was still no attempt by the officer to arrest the woman.