Maharashtra government gives sanction for prosecution of four police officers

State takes action in 2017 land grab case before court hearing on February 17

The Maharashtra government on Thursday gave its sanction to prosecute four officers of the Mumbai police for their involvement in a 2017 land grab case, nearly five months after the Central Bureau of Investigation sought it.

The officers to be prosecuted include a former assistant commissioner of police, who is alleged to have, along with the other three officers, forcibly evicted a developer from a 16-acre plot worth ₹60 crore at Dahisar in 2017.

The sanction for prosecution was signed by Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh on Thursday night.

Sources in the government said the case will be heard on February 17 in the Bombay High Court and the State’s political leadership did not want to take a chance by delaying the permission.

Also, the CBI does not function over the weekend, so it was important to give the sanction in advance. “This (weekday) was the only window open for us to give an approval and forward it to the CBI before the court hearing,” said a source.

A court-ordered CBI enquiry had found the public servants guilty as per provisions of Section-19 (1) (b) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 and demanded a sanction under Section 197 (1) (b) of the Criminal Procedure Code, officials said.

The CBI had said the officers had shown ‘high handedness’ in dealing with the directors of Rommell Housing LLP, which had purchased the land at Dahisar Check Naka from two private firms.

The CBI had also said the grandson of one of the claimants of the land had alleged theft and dacoity in a first information report (FIR) at Dahisar Police Station, as a result of which the directors, Jude and Dominic Romell, were arrested. Jude Romell was granted bail in 2017.

The two approached the high court to seek a remedy against the “malafide” FIR and accused the four officers of showing “high handedness” in dealing with them.

The court ordered an enquiry by an official of the rank of joint commissioner of police and directed the government to suspend the four officers in September last year.

Late last year, the CBI registered an FIR and demanded approval for sanction against four officers including ACP (now retired) Prashant Marde, senior police inspector Subhash Sawant, then assistant police inspector Anand Jadhav and sub inspector Kakasaheb Shinde.

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Printable version | Feb 22, 2020 7:58:37 PM |

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