HC slams police over unsatisfactory probe in Nalasopara fake encounter case | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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HC slams police over unsatisfactory probe in Nalasopara fake encounter case

BySahyaja MS
Mar 02, 2024 08:12 AM IST

Bombay HC criticizes Maharashtra police for "unsatisfactory investigation" in 2018 Nalasopara fake encounter case; lack of progress highlighted.

MUMBAI: The Bombay high court on Friday rebuked the Maharashtra police over its “unsatisfactory investigation” in the 2018 Nalasopara fake encounter case, wherein Joginder Rana, wanted in some theft cases, was killed.

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“We are not at all happy with the manner in which the investigation is coming along”, the bench of justices Revati Mohite Dere and Manjusha Deshpande remarked, highlighting the lack of any significant development in the case since the formation of a special investigation unit led by Thane Police commissioner Jaijeet Singh in 2018.

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The court criticised the police for not taking any steps that were essential after registration of an FIR under section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code. It also questioned the validity of assurances made by the deputy commissioner of police, Ulhasnagar, who said in November 2023 that the probe would be completed within 12 weeks.

The court said that it was not possible for it to monitor every small aspect of the investigation and police officers would have to do their job. It asked the additional public prosecutor PP Shinde to make a detailed statement about developments in the case at the next hearing after inquiring with the deputy commissioner and adjourned the matter to Monday.

The Nalasopara fake encounter case gained traction after Surendra Rana, Joginder Rana’s brother, petitioned the court in 2018 seeking a Central Bureau of Investigation probe or a court-monitored probe.

In his petition, Rana alleged that despite ample evidence including videos and photographs indicating the encounter was staged, the police refused to register an FIR and filed an accidental death report instead. The superintendent of police, Palghar, however, contended that the two policemen who shot Joginder Rana did so in retaliation after he attacked them; he also referred to multiple cases against Joginder Rana.

In August 2023, the court, taking note of the discrepancies and allegations, ordered Thane police commissioner Jaijeet Singh to lead the special investigation team, which was to submit a progress report within four weeks. Two weeks after the court’s order, the Tulinj police booked two policemen attached to the local crime branch in Nalasopara, namely head constable Mangesh Chavan and police naik Manoj Sakpal under sections 302 (murder) and 201 (destruction of evidence) of the Indian Penal Code. There was no progress progress in case after this, however, prompting the court to pull up the police.

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