More than a year after they were booked for alleged misappropriation of funds, five civic officials from Navi Mumbai might face police remand as the Bombay High Court last week set aside their bail orders and directed them to surrender on August 2.
The officials — Deputy Municipal Commissioner Ambarish Patnigere (43), Assistant Municipal Commissioner Divakar Samel (33), Ward Officer Jayawant Dalvi (51), Senior Accountant Namdeo Alhat (53) and Assistant Accounts Officer Prakash Kamble (46) — were booked by CBD Belapur police in May, 2009.
According to the complaint, several officials of Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) had helped H.B. Bhise & Co. in getting excess payment of Rs 1.38 crore. The firm was hired by NMMC for demolishing illegal constructions.
On September 8, 2009 immediately after arrest, the officers complained of chest pain and were admitted to a civic hospital in Vashi. Therefore, CBD police could not produce them in court and seek their custody.
They secured bail from local court while in hospital.
The officers took the matter to the HC after Thane sessions court reversed the order rejecting their police custody. While their petition was pending before the HC, the officials presented themselves before the police and made them available their specimen handwriting and signatures.
Justice J.H. Bhatia observed: “The investigation in such a serious offence could not be completed merely by obtaining specimen signatures or handwritings of the accused.”