The Special Investigation Team (SIT) of Mumbai police informed a sessions court on Wednesday that the Haryana government was yet to give its sanction for prosecuting five Gurugram policemen accused of carrying out a fake encounter in the city last year.
The policemen are booked under charges, including murder, for the alleged fake encounter of Haryana-based gangster Sandeep Gadoli. The court had in March rejected their bail application and ordered framing of charges. Apprising the court of the delay in framing charges, an SIT officer said the sanction for prosecution was yet to be received.
Under criminal law, a sanction from the competent authority is required to prosecute public servants. The Mumbai police had sought the sanction of the Haryana government in September 2016 to prosecute the accused policemen. “We received the sanction last month, but it had some technical errors. We sent the file back to the Haryana government for corrections and will submit it before the court after they resend it,” a senior IPS officer linked to the probe said.
The court directed the investigating officer of the case to remain present during the next hearing with information on the status of the sanction. Gurugram police commissioner Sandeep Khirwar said that the file approving the prosecution of the accused policemen was sent to the Mumbai police, but it was returned because of “two-three clerical errors”. “It is being done at the government level. I do not have much information about it,” Khirwar said. He added that the delay could be due to a change of guard at secretarial level in the Haryana government recently.
Divya Pahuja, a co-accused in the case, had recently sought expedition of the trial. Apart from the five policemen, Divya and her mother Sonia are also in judicial custody in Mumbai in the case. Gadoli was shot dead by a Gurugram police team that had come to arrest him on February 7, 2016, at Hotel Airport Metro located near the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport. The team, led by sub-inspector Pradyuman Yadav, who is named as the main accused, had claimed that they shot at Gadoli in self-defence. The SIT, however, alleged that it was a staged encounter.