The Bombay High Court on Thursday dismissed a petition from Provogue owner Salil Chaturvedi seeking to prevent the Anti-Terrorism Squad from supervising the investigation into whether police had planted cocaine at his residence.
Chaturvedi had filed a private complaint against three policemen — constable Ashok Bhosale, senior police inspector MB Datade and investigating officer Subhash Kenjale — alleging that they planted contraband in his house, a day after his arrest on August 3, 2005.
Chaturvedi had alleged that Bhosale had said he wanted to use the toilet and then claimed to have found three vials of cocaine there. The procedure adopted for search was also illegal, he had claimed.
The Maharashtra Government asked the State Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to conduct an inquiry in July 2009.
A report was submitted by CID chief S.P.S. Yadav to the home department on October 9, 2009, allegedly indicting Parambir Singh, then the officer supervising the case against Chaturvedi, for threatening him to withdraw his private complaint against the police.
Later, by an order dated October 27, 2009, the then director general of police S.S. Virk asked the then ATS chief KP Raghuvanshi to supervise the case. Chaturvedi then filed a petition seeking that investigation should not be supervised by the ATS.
While dismissing Chaturvedi’s petition, the division bench of Justice D.B. Bhosale and Justice A.R. Joshi, however, left it open for him to approach the special court under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act.
The bench observed, “Neither Singh nor Raghuvanshi are with the ATS any more and hence inference cannot be drawn that there is still connection between them.”
Chaturvedi’s counsel, Niteen Pradhan and Rizwan Merchant, argued that since Singh, had spent a significant time in the ATS, the case should not be supervised by it. “He [Singh] may have enough clout in the ATS to scuttle the investigation,” argued Pradhan.
Opposing the allegations, advocate general Ravi Kadam said the government had asked Raghuvanshi to supervise the investigation and not the ATS office. “Even though Raghuvanshi has now been transferred as additional director general (Law & Order) on last Monday, he will continue to supervise the case.”