City Police Commissioner D Sivanandhan can heave a sigh of relief.
The Bombay High Court had, on May 3, given Sivanandhan two weeks to arrest Vijay Thopte, one of the killers of trade union leader Dr Datta Samant.
The HC has been hearing two appeals, one filed by Thopte challenging his conviction and sentence and the other by the state challenging the acquittal of co-accused, Raju Baje.
The state informed the HC on November 5 that Thopte had jumped furlough and was absconding. The HC directed the police commissioners of Mumbai and Pune to form special teams to trace the Pune native.
The HC had given both police commissioners time until November 30, 2009, to trace Thopte, failing which they would have to file personal affidavits explaining efforts made to trace him. When the appeals came up for hearing on April 19, the public prosecutor asked the court to separate its appeal from Thopte's.
The court declined and granted two more weeks to trace Thopte. On May 3, Sivanandhan appeared in court and submitted a report on efforts made to trace Thopte. Apart from sending teams to Western Maharashtra and Marathwada, Sivanandhan had, on April 27, also declared a reward of Rs 10,000 for information on Thopte.
With Thopte's arrest, Sivanandhan has been spared the embarrassment of appearing in court again on June 9.