A day after lodging an FIR against 36 policemen from the Nehru Nagar police station, accused of accepting bribe to allow an illegal construction at Chembur, the anti-corruption bureau (ACB) on Friday sent the 21 CDs — in which the policemen were caught in the act — to the forensic science laboratory (FSL) at Kalina to establish their authenticity.
Additional commissioner of police, ACB, Rajesh Kumar Mor told HT on Friday that the CDs will be analysed by forensic experts to find whether the footages were uninterrupted or “there were cuts and pastes”.
“We would like to know whether the prints are as they had been shot or there was editing done to obtain a desired conclusion.”
He clarified that till the results of the forensic tests are obtained, the investigation will continue with the content available.
“We will make transcripts of the conversation [between the policemen and the videographer] in the CDs and try to find out whether those fall under the criteria of law [Prevention of Corruption Act or criminal misconduct],” he said.
According to the requirement under the Prevention of Corruption Act of 1988, there has to be either a demand or issuance of threat for the bribe.
Even in the absence of both, mere acceptance of money by a public servant [police in this case] is construed as criminal misconduct.
Once the transcripts are prepared, those accused in the FIR will be summoned for questioning and their statements will be recorded, said Mor.
The accused will be arrested as and when the ACB gathers evidence against them for prosecution, he said.
Along with the policemen, the ACB will also summon some BMC staffers whose names have been mentioned in the complaint made by whistleblower Mohammad Kasim Khan to the ACB on March 6.
No BMC staffer has been captured in the CDs. The process of recording statements is likely to start from Monday.
Mor said the ACB would also record Khan’s statement and ask him to submit additional evidence, if any, to bolster the case.
Asked whether the ACB will also probe whether Khan had ‘induced’ the policemen to accept bribe, Mor replied: “That aspect will also be looked into.”