“Don’t collect evidence assuming that he has committed the crime, but there should be fair investigation,” observed principal judge ML Tahilayani on Monday.
The Bombay City Civil and Sessions Court adjourned its order on the anticipatory bail plea of police inspector Arun Borude, who was dismissed for allegedly raping a 15-year-old girl.
The court criticised the police for not investigating the crucial points in the case and pointed out several lapses in the investigation. “There are several unanswered questions in the investigation and the court is bound to question you on all the important points,” said Tahilayani.
The court also reprimanded the police for not questioning Borude when he was available. The prosecution told the court that the encounter specialist’s name had cropped up after the arrest of Shanta Gaikwad, who allegedly forced the minor into prostitution, on November 2, and Borude went on leave from November 8.
The court asked: “Why did you not contact him after November 2?”
When the court asked if they had taken the victim to the flat where the crime allegedly took place, the prosecution said the doctor did not give them permission to move the girl out of the hospital. However, when asked to show the instruction, the police said it was an oral one. “Is it not crucial to show the girl (victim) the spot?” asked judge Tahilayani.
When the court questioned the prosecution whether they (police) at least took the watchman of the building to the hospital to identity the girl, the prosecution assured the court that they would do that immediately.
The judge said: “Two important parts of the investigation are incomplete.”
The court also blamed the police for filing two separate cases. While Borude faces rape charges in one case, he faces trespassing and house-breaking in another case after he broke into the flat where the alleged crime took place.
“Both the cases are connected and hence should have been investigated together. Now, both the investigating officers will go in different directions and the case will become directionless,” said judge Tahilayani.
The court has directed the prosecution to file a reply on Tuesday.
Borude, who has been absconding since November 8, had approached the court on November 19 seeking anticipatory bail on the grounds that he had been falsely implicated.
Cop wrote to police chief
A day after he went on sick leave, encounter specialist and dismissed senior inspector of LT Marg police station Arun Borude had written to the Mumbai police commissioner that he feared he would be implicated in a false case.
According to Borude’s letter, he received a call on November 2 from an unknown woman asking for his help. He said that ever since he received the call, he apprehended that he would be implicated in a false case.
“This letter was written by Borude on November 9, though we don’t know what happened to that letter latter,” said public prosecutor Mohan Sawant. Borude went on sick leave from November 8.
The Powai police arrested Shanta Gaikwad, who allegedly forced the minor to indulge in sexual acts, on November 2 following a complaint filed by the victim’s mother.
According to the police, though initially Gaikwad was reluctant to name anyone, she eventually named her ‘customers’, including Borude and an estate agent.
Gaikwad is currently in Powai police custody. The victim is at Rajawadi Hospital with her prematurely delivered baby girl.
‘He may have fled to nepal’
Dismissed police inspector Arun Borude continues to elude the police. Sources in the Powai police say that the the former encounter specialist could have harnessed his old-network to slip out of the country.
Deputy commissioner of police (DCP) Prakash Mutial told the Hindustan Times on Monday that four special teams were trying to pursue the every trail that Borude has left.
The police have also questioned Borude’s family in his hometown, Ahmadnagar. “They are claiming ignorance,” the DCP said. Borude has disappeared along with his wife and 16-year-old daughter. His son studies abroad.
Mutial since Borude was knew the standard operating procedure followed by them.
“But, we are confident of tracking him down,” h said.
Sources in the Powai police said Borude is likely to have kept his family in a safehouse at Kolhapur before sneaking into Nepal through smuggling routes or with a fake passport.
He has an elaborate informant network and a few trusted former colleagues in the Western Maharashtra district.
However, senior officers refused to speculate saying, “It is difficult to speculate where exactly he is hiding now.”