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Gold seizure: IG admits lapses by Rly Police

IG (RAILWAY) P L Pandey, investigating into allegations that the Railway Police in Indore had spirited away around 2 kg of gold from around 14.2 kg gold they had seized from two persons, admitted that a lot of procedural mistakes and a major clerical error had been made in the case.

india Updated: Jan 14, 2006 13:50 IST

IG (RAILWAY) P L Pandey, investigating into allegations that the Railway Police in Indore had spirited away around 2 kg of gold from around 14.2 kg gold they had seized from two persons, admitted that a lot of procedural mistakes and a major clerical error had been made in the case.

However, he said that it was a matter of investigation whether these mistakes were deliberate or genuine errors and assured that action would be taken in case corruption was proved. He also admitted that the owner of the seized gold had told him that the Railway Police had demanded Rs 10 lakhs from him to settle the case.

On January 8, Railway police had seized 14.280 kg of gold and Rs 3.5 lakh in cash from two persons identified as Vikram Singh Kanchare and Amar Singh; both residents of Jhaveri Bazaar and employees of jewellery shop Shilpa Ornaments. Soon after the seizure, the Railway Police told the media that the gold was being smuggled and that the arrested youths had been unable to produce any documents.

Things came to a head when owner of Shilpa Ornaments, Rajesh Dilliwal, came to Indore and found that in the seizure document made by the police, the amount of gold seized was around 2 kg less than the actual amount. He first complained to the Railway SP who brushed aside his claim and then directly to DGP Swaraj Puri, who directed IG Pandey to investigate the matter.

Elaborating on the procedural lapses, Pandey said that Railway Police in Indore were wrong in seizing the gold in the first place as the youths had produced vouchers (the Railway Police had initially claimed that the youths had no documents), as it proved that the gold had not been stolen. Even if the gold had been seized, an approved valuer should have been called while weighing the gold, but this had not been done.

Pandey said during investigations he found that while noting down the various gold items, the policemen had written that the weight of 72 gold bangles was 11 gm! This entry was clearly an error and after the gold was re-weighed the ‘difference’ in the weight had more or less been accounted for. Pandey said that he was investigating whether this error had been done with malafide intention or not.

Pandey said he would submit the report within a couple of days to the DGP and subsequently if any action was necessary, it would be taken. He said the Railway Police in their report to the court would state that the seized gold was not stolen, and the court would hand over the gold to the owners.

First Published: Jan 14, 2006 13:30 IST