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Bombay High Court directs police commissioner to look into dabbawalas’ cheating case

The Nutan Mumbai Tiffin Box Suppliers Charity Trust, in july, alleged that they had been cheated of around Rs1 crore.

mumbai Updated: Dec 24, 2017 01:05 IST
Kanchan Chaudhari
Kanchan Chaudhari
Hindustan Times
mumbai,crime,bombay high court
The dabbawalas filed a complaint with the Shivaji police on July 24 and a First Information Report (FIR) was registered on the same day.(HT file photo)

The Bombay High Court, on Wednesday, rapped the Shivaji Park police for failing to investigate a case lodged by Nutan Mumbai Tiffin Box Suppliers Charity Trust, popularly known as Mumbai’s dabbawalas, alleging that they had been cheated of Rs1 crore. The division bench of Justice Naresh Patil and Justice Nitin Sambre directed the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Zone-5 to personally supervise further investigation into the complaint.

The dabbawalas filed a complaint with the Shivaji police on July 24 and a First Information Report (FIR) was registered on the same day. However, after the police failed to successfully complete the investigation, the Trust had approached the High Court last month.

They claimed that no action has been taken by the police against the main accused, Subodh Sangle, who allegedly misappropriated the funds that should have come to the tiffin box suppliers, and sought transfer of the investigation from Shivaji Park police station to some other independent agency such as the state CID.

According to the petition filed by the Trust, Sangle had approached the dabbawalas pointing out that one Manish Tripathi had created a website in their name and had been making money in the name of the tiffin box suppliers through the web portal. Subsequently, the dabbawalas appointed Sangle as their speaker and coordinator. Eventually, they alleged, Sangle too misappropriated funds which should have gone to the Trust. They alleged that Sangle visited several institutions as their representative without the knowledge of the Trust members and appropriated huge sums of money generated through the use of the website.

According to advocate Mallika Ingale, who represents the Trust , the police have not even booked Sangle and merely registered the offence against two of his employees, Mayur Kanti and Rishab Kanti. She urged the court to direct the police to book the main accused along with the two others. The judges, however, refused to issue any such direction and instead directed the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Zone-5 to supervise the investigation.

First Published: Dec 24, 2017 00:50 IST