Court raps Mumbai crime branch for delaying report on summons to 3 top cops
Mumbai city news: The court was hearing a March 2011 robbery case at B B Jeweller’s showroom in Pantnagar, Ghatkoparmumbai Updated: Jun 25, 2017 00:44 IST
A special Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) court on Friday criticised Mumbai crime branch officials for their delay in submitting a report on the summons issued to three former Mumbai police chiefs — Ahmad Javed, Rakesh Maria and Satyapal Singh.
The court was hearing a March 2011 robbery case at B B Jeweller’s showroom in Pantnagar, Ghatkopar. A watchman of the showroom was shot, and he later died during treatment. The crime branch had arrested a total of five accused during the tenure of these three officers as police commissioners.
Singh was appointed as Mumbai police chief in August 2012. He tendered his resignation on January 31, 2014 to join politics. After Singh, Maria took over the post in February 2014. However, in September 2015, Maria was promoted and transferred as director general of police, Home Guards. Maria was replaced by Ahmad Javed on 8 September 2015. Javed retired in Jan 2015 and went on to become ambassador to Saudi Arabia.
The trial in the case is near completion where testimonies of these cops are left to be recorded by the court. According to procedure, the cops who were part of the investigating team in a case have to appear before the court to depose on the procedural aspect even if they have retired.
As these officers were holding the highest position, they accorded sanction for prosecution against the accused under MCOCA. The prosecution needed to examine these cops to prove that there were no procedural lapses.
On Friday, the court completed recording of the evidence of one of the investigating officers. After the hearing the court sought explanation on reports of summons served to these three former cops.
The court noted that the summons, to these cops were issued at the beginning of the trial but the police had not filed a report on its execution.
"The roznama speaks that as per the prevailing practice of the city civil court at the initial stage, the summons were given to prosecution for service, but no report has submitted till date in respect of above three witnesses. Thereafter, on June 5, fresh summons were sent for service but again report is not submitted. the court questioned the officer about when can these witnesses remain present. Replying to court’s question, the officer submitted, "Javed Ahmed is at Saudi Arabia as ambassador of India and he has informed that he can remain present on July 6 or 10. While Rakesh Maria is presently at America for his personal work and would be available in August." the officer however, could not state about the presence of Singh who is now a member of Parliament.
The court hence sought for written explanation from the officer. The officer meanwhile managed to prepare the report and submitted before the court. The court accepted the report with the mark that "accused are languishing in jail since 2012. This fact is to be considered to keep the witnesses present in the court."