HC stays criminal case against Justice Kolse-Patil



Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Monday admitted the petition filed by former judge B G Kolse-Patil and stayed criminal proceedings against him in connection with a protest against Jaitapur nuclear power plant in Ratnagiri district.

The proposed plant in coastal Maharashtra is being opposed by locals and activists.

The division bench of Justices B H Marlapalle and U D Salvi today stayed the proceedings, while hearing Kolse-Patil's petition seeking quashing of the FIR.

The FIR was registered against the former High Court judge for entering Ratangiri district defying prohibitory orders.

After Kolse-Patil moved the High Court, government had informed the court in May that criminal prosecution was initiated against him (and another activist) as he "willfully breached" the prohibitory orders of the local magistrate.

Patil's counsel, senior advocate Shirish Gupte, had argued that after the arrest, Kolse-Patil was taken to the site of the agitation instead of police station.

The bench had then sought to watch the video recording of Kolse-Patil's arrest and the mob protesting it. He is also charged with instigating the protesters.

The court today remarked that prima facie it did not seem that Kolse-Patil instigated the mob to become violent.

Questioning the police's action of taking Kolse-Patil to the protest site, the court admitted the petition and stayed the criminal proceedings.

The petition will be heard finally in due course.

PTI