The police need to come clean on the allegations about its links with the underworld, said the Bombay High Court while hearing public interest litigations (PILs) seeking a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the murder of J Dey, editor (special investigations) with Mid-Day.
Justice Ranjana Desai remarked: “Police need to come clean…,” when it was alleged that police-underworld nexus needed to be probed by an independent agency like the CBI.
Giving the police two more weeks to investigate and submit a progress report, the court expressed its anxiety saying: “Even we are anxious… please convey our anxiety to your senior-most officer.”
A division bench of justice Desai and justice RV More was hearing three public interest litigations filed by an advocate and two former journalists. Also, two press organisations — Press Club and Marathi Patrakar Parishad — have also intervened in the PIL seeking independent probe.
Meanwhile, a confidential report was submitted by the crime branch to the high court on Tuesday. When SK Nair, advocate for one of the petitioners, pointed out that there was a report in Mid-Day that forensics evidence was collected after 48 hours, justice Desai quipped: “We have gone through the (confidential) report. We don’t believe it.”
Justifying their prayer for the CBI investigation, advocate VP Patil pointed out that home minister RR Patil had made a statement on Monday that “aaropi phar hoshiyaar aahe” (accused are very smart).
“This alone calls for a CBI investigation,” said Patil. Advocate general Ravi Kadam said, “It is an attack on the fourth estate. Every angle is looked at and nobody is being spared.”
In an effort to strengthen the argument of the police-underworld nexus, Tirodkar showed WikiLeaks cable to the court, which showed that underworld don Dawood Ibrahim had used a police officer to get his rival gang’s member Vicky Malhotra arrested when he was in the company of former Intelligence Bureau officer.
The court has posted the matter to July 6.
Chavan rules out CBI probe
Ruling out handing over the investigations into murder of J Dey to the CBI, Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan said that Mumbai police would crack the case soon.
“If the high court orders the government to do it, the case would be given to the CBI to honor the court verdict. But, Mumbai police would put forth its case before the court properly,” Chavan told a group of editors who called on him on Tuesday afternoon.
Chavan said Mumbai police were working round-the-clock and they will crack it soon. Senior investigative journalist Jyotirmoy Dey (56) was shot dead by four unidentified assailants in the suburban Powai on June 11.