Former police commissioner of Pune and former additional director general of police (training), Jayant Umranikar received a major reprieve after the Bombay high court dismissed a public interest litigation seeking departmental action against him for allegedly misappropriating funds from the secret service fund of the state CID.
A division bench of justice BH Marlapalle and justice UD Salvi on Thursday dismissed the PIL filed by NGO, Citizens Organisation for Public Opinion, observing: “The petitioner has grossly misused the forum of a PIL and has involved a character assassination of Umranikar.”
The court also forfeited Rs1 lakh along with interest, which the NGO was to deposit earlier to prove his bonafide.
In 2006, Umranikar, then CID chief, had withdrawn money from the secret service fund to book air tickets for him, his wife and daughter from Pune to Delhi and back. He later reimbursed the money.
Pune-based travel agent, Sanjay Randive, a suspect in a fake passport scam that the CID was probing, had booked the tickets. He had alleged that he was forced to provide free tickets to Umranikar in return for facilitating his [Randive’s] bail. He and another agent, Thomas Tavares, had lodged a complaint against Umranikar. The director general of the Anti-Corruption Bureau submitted a report in 2008 stating that Umranikar had given Rs36,000 from the secret services fund to his junior, deputy superintendent of police, VA Shinde to book air tickets. Umranikar had reimbursed the money later.
The court observed: “Based on the state government’s affidavit and ACB’s report, we (court) are satisfied that Umranikar had paid the money to Shinde. Umranikar never asked Randive to buy air tickets for him.”