The Bombay High Court, which is monitoring the probe into the murder of Navi Mumbai builder Sunil Loharia, today granted four weeks time to the Mumbai crime branch to submit further progress report on the investigations.
The crime branch today submitted the second instalment of the progress report on investigations made in this case to a bench of Justices P V Hardas and Anuja Prabhudessai in their chambers. Perusing the papers, the judges asked the crime branch to continue with the probe and said they were granting one month's time to submit further progress report.
The court is hearing a PIL filed by activist Ketan Tirodkar seeking a CBI probe in this case alleging that police were "shielding" the accused. Earlier, the state government had informed the court that nothing incriminating had been found against top police officers in regard to their alleged nexus with the accused in the murder of the builder.
The state had submitted a copy of a letter in this regard written by Director General of Police to Sandeep Loharia, son of the slain builder, who had alleged that police were "protecting" the accused. The Mumbai crime branch had earlier handed over the case diaries in a sealed cover to the court. The probe was initially done by Navi Mumbai police, but later the case was transferred to Mumbai crime branch.
Loharia was shot dead outside his Navi Mumbai office on February 16 last year.
According to Tirodkar, no efforts were made to conduct a sincere probe as senior police officers were allegedly involved. On the contrary, he alleged, efforts were being made to shield the guilty. Hence, he was asking for a CBI probe. The PIL said Loharia had himself filed a petition in the High Court alleging 600 illegal buildings in Navi Mumbai, including 21 towers being built illegally on Palm Beach Road.
Loharia had also urged the court that his petition be heard expeditiously as his life was in danger. Four days after that he was killed, Tirodkar said and produced a letter written by the victim in this regard to the court registrar. Tirodkar also alleged that Loharia's son had received a threat on phone warning him against filing police complaint.