Mumbai: Saying that the fake bail-court
racket at Kurla railway station here was a serious matter, and
similar rackets could be existing elsewhere in the country,
Bombay High Court on Thursday said it was contemplating transferring
the probe to the CBI.
"We are seriously considering transferring the case to
the CBI. If this is the pattern all over India, then only a
central agency like CBI can handle the probe. We usually don`t
transfer cases, but this time we are thinking about it," said
the division bench of Justices Ranjana Desai and RV More.
The court was hearing PIL filed by activist Samir Zaveri,
alleging that some Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel
had set up a bogus court at Kurla junction, to collect bail
money from those caught while crossing tracks.
The officers asked commuters to deposit bail bonds of
over Rs 500 at a fake court, where a head constable acted as a
`magistrate`. The money was pocketed by the officers involved
in this racket.
"What action has been taken against these accused
officers? No one has been arrested yet? They fleece poor
people who get scared (thinking) that if they do not pay they
would be thrown into railway lock-up where they would have to
rot for two or three days. Tomorrow if people don`t have money
these RPF personnel will start taking away their personal
belongings," Justice Desai remarked.
Public prosecutor Pandurang Pol told the court that
Government Railway Police, which were probing the case, had
identified 27 RPF personnel involved in the scam so far, and
the probe was on.
High Court directed RPF Divisional Security Commissioner
PC Sinha, who was present at the hearing, to submit all
the documents and records of the case next week.
The direction was given after the petitioner said that
RPF had refused to provide certain other documents pertaining
to the racket in response to an application under Right to
Information Act, claiming that the documents had been
destroyed in a fire.
"We do not want these documents also to be destroyed.
Ask the officer (Sinha) to keep the documents in his custody
till the next week and then submit them before the Court," the
division bench said.
The matter will be heard next on August 18.