The Maharashtra police has filed an affidavit in Supreme Court with details of punishment meted out to 18 police personnel for their role in being unable to prevent the lynching of two sadhus in Palghar earlier this year.
It is informed that a Departmental enquiry was ordered against the police officers who were prima facie found to be negligent and in dereliction of duty with regard to handling the situation and preventing the commission of the crime.
The State police further apprised the Court that after the departmental enquiry was concluded, show cause notices were issued on July 27 to 6 police personnel. Having considered their replies, a final order punishing 18 officials was issued on August 21.
The affidavit goes on to furnish details regarding the punishment given to each police personnel. The break up is as follows-
- one Assistant Police Inspector has been dismissed from service
- one Assistant Police Sub-Inspector and one driver Head Constable have been compulsorily retired from service
- one Sub-Inspector, one Head Constable and 13 Constables have had their pay reduced to a minimum
In light of the action taken, the State police has urged Court that there is no further need for an investigation to be carried out by the CBI or any other court-monitored investigation in the matter.
Further, opposing the plea before Supreme Court, which calls for a probe by a central agency, the State has sought dismissal along with imposition of costs on the petitioner.
This is the third affidavit filed by the Maharashtra police in this matter, after it had informed the Court of progress in the case on May 27 and July 29 respectively.
Upon investigation by the State Criminal Investigation Department (CID), 2 charge sheets had already been filed on July 15. As the matter came up for hearing before the Top Court on August 6, the Bench comprising of Justices Ashok Bhushan and R Subhash Reddy directed the State to produce the charge sheets for examination and further sought an action taken report regarding the police personnel.
"Let the State bring the chargesheets on record. It has further been stated that a departmental enquiry against the police personnel was ordered and show-cause notices have been issued. Let details f the enquiry, including the action taken against the police personnel as well as enquiry report, be also brought on the record. Let an affidavit be filed by the State of Maharashtra within three weeks", the Court had ordered.
The present affidavit has thus been filed in compliance with the abovementioned Order.
On April 16, two seers travelling from Mumbai to Surat had their car stopped by a mob of over 200 people. This mob then proceeded to upturn the car and pelt stones, eventually resulting in the death of both seers as well as the driver of the car.
Petitions seeking Court-monitored investigation and/or transfer of the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) were filed before the Apex Court alleging that the police was complicit in the lynching of the two saints.