THE Bombay High Court Wednesday dismissed a petition, seeking directions to the Mumbai Police to file an FIR against the Gurgaon Police, in the encounter of Haryana gangster Sandeep Gadoli, observing non-registration of FIR would not cause any prejudice to Gadoli’s family.
Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi appeared for Haryana and argued that Gadoli’s brother Kuldeep Singh’s petition, seeking FIR against the Gurgaon police, would open the floodgates for those who cry foul and move the court in such situations.
Singh had claimed Gadoli was “murdered” by the Gurgaon Police at the behest of his business rival and Gurgaon politician Binder Gujjar.
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Earlier, Justices Ranjit More and Shalini Phansalkar Joshi had passed an order in the High Court, observing that the Public Prosecutor had given consent to the registration of an FIR against members of the Gurgaon Police who gunned down Gadoli. Subsequently, the Haryana government had moved the Supreme Court and got the HC order quashed.
The matter was remanded back to the High Court for hearing the Haryana Police and taking a look at the matter afresh.
On Wednesday, the AG said it was not a case of custodial death. Rohatgi said two FIRs in the same incident could not be registered. An FIR was registered the day after the shooting by the Haryana Police at Hotel Airport Metro at the MIDC police station.
Rohatgi added that if Gadoli’s family made everybody, including the police commissioner, a party to the petition, the police would not be able to function.
He said, “The court is aware that the victim’s family will always cry foul.”
According to the AG, the requisite guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court after hearing the matter between People’s Union of Civil Liberties versus State of Maharashtra were duly followed. Rohatgi added that Gadoli’s brother Singh had a criminal record.
However, his counsel Niteen Pradhan objected, saying, “It is completely irrelevant.”
On Wednesday, Pradhan too raised his pitch and said two FIRs could be registered in the case.
“It is permitted by law. The second dimension will be from the victim’s family. There will be two cross complaints,” he said.
According to the HC, the family members could give their statements to the police separately as witnesses under Section 161 of CrPC which stipulates the examination of witnesses.
However, Pradhan protested, saying, “It would rather be under Section 154 of CrPC which is an FIR taking note of a cognisable offence,” he said. “It should be under Section 154 so that the case can be independently investigated by the SIT (Special Investigation Team),” he added.
Public Prosecutor Sandeep Shinde also informed about the formation of the SIT, headed by an ACP, that would probe the encounter.