In a setback to the state government, the sessions court restrained the police from arresting a developer who had been booked under the Environment Protection Act (EPA) for allegedly encroaching on government land in Charkop.
The court stopped the police as the builder was wrongly booked under the EPA, which is a Central act.
The act provides that the police can register the case only if an officer of the Central government has made the complaint.
On February 2, Kedar Pawar, a circle officer from the tehsildar’s office, Borivli division, registered a case against one Kartik Shetty alleging that he had put iron bars on a government land. Pawar also alleged that Shetty had carried out land filling and had cut tress.
Shetty, after registration of the case, moved an anticipatory bail application on February 29 before the sessions court in Dindoshi. During the argument for his bail, defence counsel Chandrakant Talekar contended that the local police had no power to register a case on the complaint of a state government official.
Public prosecutor argued that Shetty had committed a serious offence of encroaching on government land and cutting trees on the plot. However, he also admitted that the police did not have powers to take cognisance of the offences registered under the act.
After hearing the submissions of both sides, the court restrained the police from taking any further action in the case.
Vasant Devarkar, senior inspector, Charkop police station, confirmed that due to technical aspects they would not be taking any further action.