Bombay HC chides Goa police on failure to get model`s statement

Last Updated: Friday, June 4, 2010 - 18:22

Panaji: The failure of Goa Police to
record the statement of a Swedish model Lucky Farmhouse, a
crucial witness in police-drug peddlers nexus case, has drawn
criticism from the Bombay High Court.

"The records show that an interview was recorded by
agency of a lady who claimed to be friend of the said Atala but
till date her statement has not been recorded (by the
police)," the Goa bench of the Bombay High Court said in its
June 2 order granting bail to one of the accused, police
inspector Ashish Shirodkar.
Justice N A Britto granted bail Shirodkar, who is
among the seven policemen arrested for their alleged nexus
drug peddlers, but not before pointing out the glaring
loopholes in the investigation by Crime Branch which is
probing the case for more than two months now.

Lucky, a Swedish model and former girlfriend of
Israeli drug peddler Yaniv Benaim alias Atala, had exposed the
drug scam after she uploaded video-footage of her boyfriend
Atala bragging about his links with the policemen.

Referring to the agency interview, the Judge observed
that Lucky has said that she also had video footage of a Goan
politician`s son who came to collect money from Atala but till
date her statement has not been recorded.

The 32-year-model was camping in Mumbai for almost a
month before leaving for Sweden this week. However, the Crime
Branch did not record her statement.

The single bench in the 16-page-order has also made a
reference to police`s investigation in alleged suicide of
Nadia Torrado, a close friend of Tourism Minister Fransisco
Pacheco.
"If the police department can send police inspectors
North (Mumbai) and East (Chennai) to investigate a simple case
of attempted suicide, the police department could have
certainly sent a responsible IPS officer to record the
statement of Atala`s friend (Lucky)," the court said.

Shirodkar, who headed the Anti Narcotic Cell and whose
name figures in the video footage shot on spy cam by Lucky,
was granted bail by the High court.

The court ruled that it is not only the gravity of
the offence which matters while considering a bail application
but also the nature of evidence which is produced in support
of the charge.

"Considering the nature of evidence presently
available, I am inclined to admit the applicant to bail," the
judge ruled.

PTI



First Published: Friday, June 4, 2010 - 18:22

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