The commissioner of police will probe a scam involving “agents” who allegedly got forged letters from a Member of Legislative Council (MLC) sanctioning funds for development projects.
A division bench of Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice U.D. Salvi on Tuesday directed the commissioner to look into the allegations made by developer Mohammed Amin Gane.
In his petition, Gane said that a person named Sandeep Patil had given him a letter from an MLC sanctioning Rs 10 lakh for a development project in south Mumbai.
“We are shocked and perplexed by the opinion formed by the Marine Drive police. [The] grievance is that a letter of a (then) sitting MLC is misused, signature is forged,” the bench observed.
“The CP himself should consider the gravity of the situation and take necessary steps and issue instructions to subordinate officers on how to deal with such issues in future.”
The court also rapped the Marine Drive police station for writing off the issue as a civil dispute and asking the developer to approach the civil court.
Gane’s lawyer Ashok Saraogi argued that Patil assured he would get Rs 10 lakh sanctioned from MLC funds for his development project on Zanzibar Street at Bhendi Bazaar.
Patil even got a letter dated August 24, 2009, from Jalgaon MLC Madhu Jain.
Jain told Hindustan Times she was not aware of the issue.“I would have to see the papers and court order before giving any comment,” she said.
Gane paid Patil Rs 3.6 lakh as fees, Saraogi said. When the money did not come, Gane lodged a complaint with the Santacruz police.
The matter was then transferred to Marine Drive police station.
Police Sub Inspector V. Pujare gave Gane a letter saying his complaint was of civil nature and he should approach the civil court.
Gane then moved the high court. Saraogi argued that Patil had issued several such letters to others too. “This seems to be a scam. We will place that before the court,” said Saraogi.
Justice Khanwilkar rapped the police officer saying, “These are not matters to be ignored. Official machinery has been used. Forged letter of an MLC is found. How can you say it is a civil dispute?”
The HC will hear the matter on September 13.