The Bombay High Court on Friday summoned Mumbai Commissioner of Police (CP) Sanjeev Dayal for failing to file an affidavit in connection with a case involving alleged custodial torture of a city businessman, Kamal Saigal.
A division bench of Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice PD Kode directed Dayal to remain present before the court on Monday, and explain why instead of filing the affidavit himself as directed by the court, Dayal asked a junior officer — a deputy commissioner of police (DCP) — to file it on his behalf.
The court was hearing a petition filed by Kamal’s wife Meena. She has sought action against inspector Sunil Chandgude and other policemen attached to the Mahim police station for allegedly brutally assaulting Kamal, who suffered a paralytic attack and is currently admitted to JJ Hospital.
On Friday, when the petition came up for hearing, Meena’s counsel Kunal Bhange pointed out that on the last occasion, another bench had directed the CP to file an affidavit in regard to initiating action against Chandgude and other concerned policemen, but no affidavit had been filed.
Additional public prosecutor Dinesh Adsule informed the court that instead of the commissioner, a DCP has filed the affidavit.
The development irked the judges, who reminded the prosecutor that the CP was specifically directed to file an affidavit. To which, Adsule replied that he had authorised the DCP to file an affidavit on his behalf.
The clarification, however, failed to impress the judges. “This frustrates the very purpose behind passing a specific order,” observed the bench, adding, “Is this how you respond to court orders, and that too in such a serious matter?” “Now let him (CP) personally come and explain why he opted not to file the affidavit, and instead asked the DCP to file one,” said the bench.
Officers from the Mahim police station had arrested Kamal and five others, including an 85-year-old woman, on July 24 in connection with a forgery and cheating case.