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Why Was The Fake Antique Dealer Granted Protection? Kerala High Court Demands An Answer From Police

Hannah M Varghese
5 Oct 2021 11:30 AM GMT
Why Was The Fake Antique Dealer Granted Protection? Kerala High Court Demands An Answer From Police
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The Kerala High Court on Tuesday questioned why police protection was granted to the controversial fake antique dealer Monson Mavunkal and demanded an answer as to why he was not taken into custody by the police despite finding valuable articles in his residence. Justice Devan Ramachandran while expressing his concern with the investigation in the matter, remarked:"We know that the...

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The Kerala High Court on Tuesday questioned why police protection was granted to the controversial fake antique dealer Monson Mavunkal and demanded an answer as to why he was not taken into custody by the police despite finding valuable articles in his residence. 

Justice Devan Ramachandran while expressing his concern with the investigation in the matter, remarked:

"We know that the 5th respondent (Mavunkal) was given the police protection. The Court should know why such protection was given. On what basis was this given, the Court must know."

The Bench further stated that it needed to know if the police can be trusted with the enquiry against Mavunkal.

"I want to know from the Director-General of Police if the Police command under him can be trusted with this investigation. Can the Crime Branch really conduct a proper investigation? This is important because police officer of every rank is facing an allegation of some sort these days. And the petitioner herein has specifically named a few officers who are still in service. " 

Several media reports had revealed that Mavunkal was in possession of various valuable articles. Taking note of the same, the Bench inquired:

"Moreover, the information we have is that he was dealing with several things; including elephant tusks. In fact, reports suggest that he was in custody of things nobody has even heard of. If that is the case, how did the police not find this out? The police force was parading in and out of his residence. Instead of taking action against him, why was he given protection?"

The Court added:

"The petitioner herein had only alleged harassment from police officials; he had not sought protection in his plea. Yet I was inclined to grant him one considering the possible influence the 5th respondent has. A few days ago this would only have been a routine case, but things have changed now."

Government Pleader E.C Bineesh was thereby directed to file necessary pleadings on record. He also informed the Court that an enquiry was happening in the matter. The matter has been listed on 26th October detailed counter-affidavit. 

Advocate Thomas T Varghese appeared for the petitioner. The Court also impleaded the State Police Chief into the matter today.

The Court had previously granted police protection to dealer Monson Mavunkal''s former driver who had moved the Court alleging harassment from his ex-employer and certain police officers close to him.

During the proceedings last week, the Bench had also sought for the State Police Chief to be impleaded in the matter to conduct an elaborate probe into the grave allegations put forth by the petitioner against some of the superior police officers and their alleged links with the bogus collector.

Mavunkal had recently made headlines in the State after his antique collection scam was busted by the Crime Branch pursuant to a complaint of cheating being filed against him.

The dealer's former driver had earlier approached the Court seeking police protection alleging that after he made disclosures before the police against Mavunkal through some senior police officers and continued to harass him.

The antique dealer has been arrayed as the 5th respondent in the matter.

In his petition, the driver had alleged that Mavunkal also threatened to implicate him in criminal cases and other dire consequences if he disclosed any information about the deception.

He added that the disclosures he made were in connection with a cheating complaint made against Mavunkal by the complainant who had accused the dealer of cheating him of Rs 6 crore.

Case Title: Ajith E.V. v. The Commissioner of Police & Ors.

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