A WEEK after the Punjab and Haryana High Court restrained the Mumbai Police from arresting five Gurgaon policemen involved in the alleged fake encounter of gangster Sandeep Gadoli, Maharashtra has decided to contest the order, sources in the prosecution said.
After notices were issued to the Maharashtra government and the Mumbai Police, the HC in Chandigarh looks set to witness a legal tussle between the two BJP-ruled states.
The hearing, scheduled for Wednesday at 10 am, is likely to see Public Prosecutor Sandip Shinde oppose the relief given to the five policemen, whom the Mumbai Police has accused of gunning down Gadoli in a fake encounter.
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The state is expected to assert that the Punjab and Haryana High Court does not have the jurisdiction to grant protection from arrest, sources said.
A special investigation team (SIT) of the Mumbai Police had named the five policemen in its FIR while seeking arrest warrants from a metropolitan court here.
Gadoli was shot dead by a team of the Gurgaon Police inside Hotel Airport Metro, located near Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, on February 7.
The HC in Punjab and Haryana had acted on a petition filed by Gurgaon sub-inspector Pradyumna Yadav and four other policemen.
The petitioners had pleaded that their suspension, ordered by Gurgaon Deputy Commissioner of Police on May 30, be cancelled, and that the case be transferred from the Mumbai Police to the Haryana Police. However, the Maharashtra government prosecution is viewing Haryana’s approach as a “shielding” tactic.
In March, when Gadoli’s family moved the Bombay High Court seeking action against the five policemen, the Haryana government had defended them, arguing that an FIR against the police would only open floodgates for those who cry foul and move court in such situations.
It had asserted that an FIR had already been filed in Gurgaon and there was no need to file a “second” FIR in Mumbai.
Investigations had earlier confirmed the authenticity of CCTV footage that reportedly showed two policemen at the door of Gadoli’s room, not helping the gangster who is writhing in pain on the floor after being shot, but planting a weapon on him and destroying a few CCTV cameras.