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Are police meant to serve public or builders, asks HC

Irked with the inaction on a complaint of assault filed by a senior citizen, the Bombay high court (HC), on Thursday, questioned if the police were meant to serve the builder lobby.
By HT Correspondent | Hindustan Times, Mumbai
UPDATED ON FEB 03, 2012 01:03 AM IST

Irked with the inaction on a complaint of assault filed by a senior citizen, the Bombay high court (HC), on Thursday, questioned if the police were meant to serve the builder lobby.

On December 9, 2011, Anusuya Patil, 68, was allegedly beaten up by a small-time builder, Sandesh Govalkar, and his associates, reportedly in the presence of sub-inspector of Dadar police station, Vijay More, over a property dispute.

Patil, a resident of Worli Koliwada, went to a government hospital for treatment and approached the Dadar police station to lodge a complaint against Govalkar, his associates and sub-inspector More a day later.

JB Mishra, Patil’s counsel, alleged that instead of taking prompt action, the police recorded a non-cognisable offence on which no follow-up was done.

“Whom are the police serving, the public or the builders?” the division bench of justice VM Kanade and justice PD Kode asked additional public prosecutor Purnima Kantharia.

“Is it that the poor and helpless have absolutely no right in this country?”

According to Patil’s petition, Anusuya’s deceased brother Chandrakant had signed an agreement with Govalkar for development of their 200

sqft jointly-owned property at Worli Koliwada in September 2009.

After Chandrakant’s death in December 2010, Govalkar allegedly wanted to evict Patil forcefully from the property.

“They [the police] are here to protect poor and helpless people,” justice Kanade reminded the prosecutor.

The court has directed Kantharia to seek instructions on the petition by Monday, with a warning that if prompt action is not taken, the court would take a serious view of the matter.

The petition has been posted for hearing on Monday.

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