Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Monday rapped the crime branch and Thane prison authorities for their "helplessness" in dealing with the `privileged` treatment enjoyed in the Thane civil hospital by one of the accused in Navi Mumbai builder Sunil Loharia murder case.
A division bench of Justices S C Dharmadhikari and Gautam Patel also directed crime branch DCP Satyanarayan Chaudhary to take over the probe into the matter and ascertain the medical condition of the accused Suresh Bijlani and submit an affidavit on September 27.
The bench was hearing a petition filed by Loharia`s son Sandeep challenging an August 14 order of the Thane sessions court directing Bijlani to be taken to hospital for treatment.
Bijlani since then has been admitted at the civil hospital where he is alleged to be enjoying privileged treatment and allowed to use mobile phones and control his business.
The crime branch today filed an affidavit stating that since Bijlani is in judicial custody it is the responsibility of the jail authority. The superintendent of Thane prison, however, in his affidavit shifted blame to the investigating agency and said a letter was sent to the officer on the issue.
"What we have noted from the affidavits is that blame is being shifted from one authority to another. Police is remarkably solicitous with this man (Bijlani). All of you are helpless and can do nothing. You cannot touch this man," the high court said.
Directing the DCP to take over the case, the bench said, "Let all the records be handed over to the DCP. He will be answerable to the court now and he should be bold enough to tell us if anybody is obstructing the probe."
The court has asked Chaudhary to visit J J Hospital, where Bijlani was taken for examination on September 21, and obtain all his medical papers and inform the court on his condition.
The court also noted that while this was a fit case for ordering inquiry against the errant officers it would take a decision on this at a later stage.
It further noted that corrective steps needs to be taken to ensure such a situation does not arise.
Loharia was shot dead in February this year outside his office in Vashi in Navi Mumbai.