The case of extortion and wrongful confinement against suspended additional superintendent of police, Manoj Lohar, is valid the Bombay High Court ruled on Friday.
The court also set aside the Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal’s (MAT) order quashing Lohar’s suspension.
The state had approached the court in September saying it had suspended Lohar according to the provisions of the Maharashtra Civil Rules.
Lohar was suspended in February after Dr Uttam Mahajan, a zilla parishad member and the principal of an Ayurvedic college at Chalisgoan in Jalgoan had alleged that Lohar, then posted at Chalisgoan, detained him in his office for more than a day and demanded money for his release.
Mahajan had alleged that Lohar had demanded money after a civil contractor lodged a complaint saying Mahajan’s education institution owed him money. A case was registered in July 2009 and Lohar was suspended earlier this year.
A division bench of Justice BH Marlapalle and Justice UD Salvi, while setting aside the MAT order, observed that the allegations looked serious and Lohar could tamper with evidence if he is in service.
Lohar’s advocate, Kunal Cheema, argued that the government had taken action only against Lohar although the first information had named more people. “The government suspended Lohar following political interference,” Cheema argued. The court, however, allowed the government’s appeal and observed that the additional director general of the Criminal
Investigation Department and the director general of police of Maharashtra had recommended Lohar’s suspension. Lohar and his two brothers, also policemen, were earlier suspended in an alleged scam in the Maharashtra Public Service Commission but were reinstated following a court order.