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Police excesses: Bombay HC may order jud-inquiry

The Bombay High Court today expressed its inclination to order a judicial inquiry into alleged police torture of a group of businessmen in Kolhapur.

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court today
expressed its inclination to order a judicial inquiry into
alleged police torture of a group of businessmen in Kolhapur.

Justice B H Marlapalle and Justice Anoop Mohta
observed that they may order a judicial inquiry and asked the
Counsel for the petitioners Rajendra Raghuvanshi to file an
affidavit as a rejoinder by July 9.

Sanjeev More, police inspector attached to Shahupur
police station in Kolhapur, who had failed to turn up on last
four occasions, today appeared in person in response to
summons issued by the court to answer charges of kidnapping
and torture levelled against him by the businessmen.

The court had warned More to appear in person before
it or else face suspension from service and contempt action.

More filed an affidavit wherein he tendered an
unconditional apology for not coming before the court earlier
as he was busy with Gram Panchayat elections and in
maintenance of law and order.

The petition, filed by Shailesh Kamdar and three other
businessmen sought an enquiry into alleged police atrocities
including kidnapping and extracting an amount of Rs 8.15 lakh
under pressure.

M/s Joshi freight carriers at Dhule bagged a two-year
contract from Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation
(MSRTC) to carry out the business of transporting parcels,
specific allied services and courier by MSRTC buses.

M/s Joshi appointed M/s Siddhivinayak freight as their
sole selling agents for carrying on transport business. M/s
Siddhivinayak in turn appointed M/s Prithvi as their agents
for Kolhapur and asked Rs 12 lakh security deposit.

In September last year, M/s Prithvi paid Rs 8 lakh
security deposit to M/s Siddhivinayak and agreed to pay the
balance of Rs four lakh in a short period.

However, within a month, Prithvi wrote letters to
petitioners making grievance about running transport business
and they said it would not be possible for them to continue
the business from October 1, 2009. They 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 all the way 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
police directive.


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