The Bombay high court on Monday summoned the deputy commissioner of police (DCP), detection, of the Mumbai Crime Branch with all the records in the murder case of Navi Mumbai builder Sunil Loharia. The summons was sent after the police admitted to lapses, which resulted in one of the accused enjoying privileged treatment in Thane Civil Hospital for over three weeks now.
A division bench of justices SC Dharmadhikari and Gautam Patel was hearing a petition by Loharia’s son Sandeep. The petition challenges Thane sessions court’s order of August 14, which directed that accused Suresh Bijlani be taken to hospital for treatment.
Rapping the police for going soft on Bijlani, the judges have asked the prosecution to file an affidavit detailing all the steps taken by the police to acquire Bijlani’s custody after learning that he was feigning illness.
The affidavit must indicate the steps taken, before, during and after filing of the petition, to acquire Bijlani’s medical records and get them independently verified. The judges have also asked the police to indicate steps taken by them after Bijlani complained of illness.
“When the doctor at Thane Civil Hospital said that Bijlani be admitted, was it verified by senior doctors? Were they told he (Bijlani) is an accused?” asked justice Dharmadhikari.
Justice Patel questioned why special treatment was being given to Bijlani. “Is it shown to other (accused) as well? Had he (Sandeep) not filed the petition, how long would this happy state of affairs have continued?” he asked.
Additional public prosecutor Jayesh Yagnik assured the court that in future the police will be careful and ensure that no accused, especially in a murder case, avoids being in custody by getting himself/herself admitted in hospital.
Yagnik added that a police officer has been suspended for the lapse and departmental inquiry is going on against another officer.