Navi Mumbai bogus ration cards case: HC summons police officer
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Last Updated: Monday, March 08, 2010, 17:59
Mumbai: The Bombay High court on Monday summoned the police officer who had earlier investigated the Navi Mumbai bogus ration cards case saying that the way the probe into the case was handled was a "very sorry state of affairs".

Fake cards were allegedly used to facilitate bogus voting in 2009 Lok Sabha polls by NCP workers. NCP's Sanjeev Naik was elected from this constituency.

High Court last year transferred probe to CID. But the division bench of Justice P B Majmudar and R G Ketkar was shocked to learn today that police inspector Sunil Khaladkar, the earlier investigation officer, didn't take objection when an accused filed bail application.

The probe, started after complaint filed by Shiv Sena worker Shirish Gharat, had led police to Santosh Mhatre, NCP worker, who allegedly procured some 5000 bogus cards.

But Magistrate gave bail to Mhatre last May, noting that "though offence was serious, the investigation officer did not oppose the bail application".

Gharat's petition in High Court, seeking transfer of probe, was pending then.

After reading the bail order today, High Court asked public prosecutor: "Does it satisfy your conscience... the way he has conducted the investigation?"

Khaladkar, now with extortion cell of Navi Mumbai crime branch, should remain present on March 11, court said. Noting that when bail application came up before the magistrate, the present petition by Gharat was pending in the High Court, judges said "after that he had the guts to say he had no objection".

If this was Khaladkar's "generous attitude towards Mhatre, a mere (political) worker, what do you expect if it is a high official or a minister?" judges asked.

Meanwhile, the prosecutor Dinesh Adsule told the court that as per the court's earlier directions, CID has recorded the statement of NCP MP Sanjeev Naik.

The fake ration cards were allegedly used to establish identity of bogus voters. Gharat, the petitioner, has alleged that Sanjeev Naik, and his father, state minister Ganesh Naik, were involved in the conspiracy.


First Published: Monday, March 08, 2010, 17:59

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