Maha cop suspended for secretly filming Hasan Ali

A senior IPS officer allegedly secretly filmed the interrogation of Hasan Ali and leaked the CDs.

Last Updated: Mar 22, 2011, 18:38 PM IST

Mumbai: The Maharashtra government on Tuesday
announced suspension of a senior IPS officer, who allegedly
secretly filmed the interrogation of Pune stud farm owner
Hasan Ali Khan, facing massive money laundering charges, and
leaked its doctored CDs, apparently to malign the government.

State Home Minister RR Patil told the state Assembly
that Ashok Deshbrathar, DCP (Government Railway Police), has
been placed under suspension and a departmental inquiry
ordered against him, ending the suspense over the government
action against the IPS officer.

Speculations were rife since Monday that the
officer had been placed under suspension.

Patil said action had been taken after a CID inquiry
into the CD episode recommended that the officer be sacked
from the force under article 311 of the Constitution and
criminal case be filed against him under section 500
(defamation) and 504 (intentional insult to provoke breach of
peace) IPC and section three of Incitement to disaffection act
1922.

In the CD, he said, Khan was shown boasting of his
links with top Congress and NCP leaders and how the decision
to appoint Hassan Gafoor as Mumbai police commissioner was
taken at a meeting in a suburban five star hotel.

"It has been proved in the (CID) investigation that
the police officer had doctored the CD with an intention to
malign the government. He did not pass on the information
about his secret interrogation to his superiors which proves
his ulterior motive," Patil said.

Patil said though the CID recommended Deshbrathar`s
dismissal, the government had decided only to suspend him and
order a department enquiry as part of natural justice. "We
want to enable him to put forward his statement in the
matter."

The minister said the voice in the CD was that of
Deshbrathar but he was not seen in the footage shot with a pen
camera.

Patil rejected the claim made in the CD that he,
Congress President Sonia Gandhi`s political secretary Ahmed
Patel and former Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh had met in
the presence of Khan at a five star hotel in suburban Mumbai
to decide on the appointment of Gafoor as police commissioner.

He said the concerned hotel had been closed down in
2005 and parts of the premises are rented out for marriages.

"The date mentioned in the CD (of the meeting) was
the day of?marriage of the daughter of Yusuf Lakdawala (a
builder). Nobody mentioned in the CD was present there
including Hasan Ali," he said.

The minister said Deshbrathar had interrogated Khan
several times between December 15 and 23, 2008 when the latter
was arrested in a fake passport case in Mumbai. "But he never
shared the information with his superiors or gave any
directions to his juniors in the case."

Patil said Deshbrathar did not interrogate Khan
regarding charges for which he had been arrested but asked
unrelated questions.

He also alleged that Deshbrathar had demanded Rs one
crore from Yusuf Lakdawala to give good treatment to Hasan Ali
Khan in custody.

Patil rubbished the charge levelled by BJP member
Devendra Phadanvis that the officer was suspended because he
sought permission to intervene in the Hasan Ali Khan case in
the Supreme Court. Phadanvis said the officer was suspended on
March 19 after he sought permission on March 15 to furnish
information against Khan.

Patil said the committee headed by Chief Secretary had
cleared Deshbrathar for promotion but it was decided to keep
it on hold pending completion of CID inquiry.

To this Phadanvis wondered why was he cleared for
promotion when such serious allegations were pending against
the officer. He also wanted to know why the government did not
initiate any action against the officer earlier if it knew he
had demanded money from Lakdawala.

The house had to be adjourned twice amid uproar over
the issue. For the first time for ten minutes when Opposition
members rejected Patil`s statement and later for 30 minutes
when Leader of Opposition Eknath Khadse raised the issue of a
newspaper report that three former Chief Ministers and
bureacrats of the state had desposited funds in foreign banks
through Hasan Ali Khan.

Khadse said the report has been submitted to the
Supreme Court by the Enforcement Directorate.

PTI