Mumbai: The Bombay High Court today ordered
a judicial probe into allegations of torture and kidnap
levelled by four businessmen against Kolhapur police.
The businessmen, who are partners in a form, had
alleged that a police team had from Kolhapur to Dhule to
arrest them and forced them to pay Rs 8.15 lakh by a demand
draft to settle a business dispute with their rivals.
Justice B H Marlapalle and Justice Anoop Mohta asked
the Chief Director of Prosecution to conduct the probe and
submit a report to the High Court within two months.
The petitioner`s counsel Rajendra Raghuvanshi and
Rutuja Ambekar had requested for a judicial inquiry saying
there was a prima facie case of police excesses.
Earlier, the court had ordered Sanjeev More, police
inspector attached to Shahupur police station in Kolhapur, to
appear in person to answer charges of kidnapping and torture
levelled against him by the businessmen Shailesh Kamdar and
three others businessmen from Dhule.
To a court`s query, police said a constable had hired a
a friend`s car to take the team to Dule and petrol was
purchased from personal funds. No reimbursement was sought
from the government.
M/s Joshi freight carriers at Dhule had bagged a
two-year contract from Maharashtra State Road Transport
Corporation (MSRTC) to carry out business of transporting
parcels, specific allied services and courier by MSRTC buses.
The company appointed M/s Siddhivinayak freight as
their sole selling agents for carrying on transport business.
which in turn appointed M/s Prithvi as their agents for
Kolhapur and asked Rs 12 lakh security deposit.
In September last year, Prithvi paid Rs 8 lakh
security deposit to Siddhivinayak and agreed to pay the
balance of Rs four lakh in a short period.
However, within a month, Prithvi wrote letters to
petitioners saying said it would not be possible for it to
continue the business from October 1, 2009. It also asked for
return of the security deposit.
The petitioners, however, discovered that within the
period of one month, Prithvi allegedly manipulated bills and
committed fraud. Accordingly, they lodged complaint with
Shahupur Police station in Kolhapur against Prithvi.
However, petitioners alleged, Prithvi colluded with
police officials to lodge an FIR against them in Kolhapur and
a team of Kolhapur police came to Dhule to arrest them. They
were handcuffed, abused and taken to Kolhapur jail.
The petitioners alleged that they were pressured by
police to return security deposit and enter into agreement
with Prithvi. They were released only after they complied with