In a major setback for the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), it was revealed that a tapped conversation between the accused in a bribery case has failed to match with voice samples of Manisha Mhase-Thube, daughter of Maharashtra State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission president justice (retired) SB Mhase.
CBI counsel SK Shinde, on Monday, informed the Bombay high court that a forensic laboratory had found that the woman's voice in the conversation did not match with Mhase-Thube's. The agency has sent the material for re-verification to the Central Forensic Science Laboratory at Chandigarh, Shinde added, seeking two months to file a charge sheet against the four accused.
The division bench of justice PB Majmudar and justice RD Dhanuka was hearing a PIL filed by law student Shakil Meer Khan seeking orders to restrain justice Mhase from presiding over the consumer commission in view of his daughter's arrest.
On October 10, 2011, the CBI had arrested Somnath Sutar and Hansraj Singh on Prabhat Road at Pune while accepting a bribe of Rs30 lakh from a former chairman of a cooperative society from Doddamarg in Sindhudurg district.
The amount had allegedly been collected at the behest of advocate Sunil Shirole and Mhase-Thube. The complainant was told they would use Mhase's influence to get a favourable order from the National Consumer Commission.
While hearing Khan's PIL, the CBI counsel responded to a court query stating that they had not found any incriminating material against the retired judge. The judges directed the Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa to initiate disciplinary action against Shirole.