Five senior IPS officers moved the Bombay High Court on Wednesday seeking a review of its order asking the CBI to probe the role of seven IPS officers who allegedly shielded their colleague K L Bishnoi,accused of clearing a law examination through unfair means. Bishnoi is currently IG (Protection of Civil Rights).
Although the court stayed the order directing a CBI probe till April 12,it reminded the officers that their motto was to protect citizens and not victimise them. You dont gang up and try to strangle the voice of a citizen. This is a shocking state of affairs, Justice V M Kanade said.
Bishnoi was shown to have cleared his final year LLB exam even when he had allegedly remained absent for the practical exam on March 12,2005. The vice-principal of the Siddharth Law College,Chitra Salunke,who had supervised the exam,had filed a complaint that Bishnoi had colluded with principal I A Inamdar to get marks.
Salunke said the seven officers had failed to act on her complaint to protect their colleague.
Joint CP in Nagpur Sanjay Saxena,Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad Chief Rakesh Maria,Addl CP (South) Naval Bajaj,Addl CP (Traffic) Brijesh Singh and Addl CP (West) Vishwas Nangre Patil filed an application urging the court to review its earlier decision. The other two officers named in Salunkes complaint are Additional DGP Pankaj Gupta and Mohan Rathod.
Arguing for the IPS officers,senior counsel Amit Desai said the police had taken action in every case filed by Salunke,and chargesheets were filed in cases where an offence was disclosed.
Advocate General D J Khambata said the order of a CBI probe can have a demoralising effect on the police. He apologised to the court for not informing it about the inquiries into Salunkes allegations. On every aspect there has been an inquiry. We should have placed it on record, Khambata said.
Justice Kanade and Justice P D Kode,however,said the inquiry was pending for two years and the proceedings before the HC had also been adjourned from time to time. Salunke had lodged a complaint with the DGP office on February 10,2010.
Khambata also said that more than the state government,it was the duty of Salunke to disclose the facts about the cases against her and the strictures passed against her by the principal judge of the sessions court.
For two years she was made to run from pillar to post. You cant put the blame on the petitioner, Justice Kanade said. Salunke denied hiding anything from the court and said the other cases against her had nothing to do with this case. The court asked her to file an affidavit in reply to the review petition by April 12.
Justice Kanade said: What is appalling is that a single lady is against the might of the police. She was only doing her duty. These things used to happen in Bihar… This is alarming.