OVER THREE years after dean of the state-run JJ Hospital, Dr TP Lahane, was booked for allegedly making a casteist remark about a staffer, the complainant told the court Saturday that he wished to withdraw the complaint. Naresh Waghela, an on-contract sweeper at JJ Hospital, appeared before the special court hearing his case and made the oral submission.
The special Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act court has granted Waghela two weeks’ time to tender an application for intervention in the case. Waghela is expected to file an affidavit before the court to formally make the submission regarding withdrawing the case.
In September 2014, Lahane was booked under relevant sections of the Prevention of Atrocities Act and for criminal intimidation under Section 506 of the Indian Penal Code. It was alleged that on February 14, 2014, Waghela and other workers were on a strike in connection with their demands of permanency in service.
The prosecution’s case says that despite the strike, one worker had reported to duty at the hospital. Waghela had requested the worker to not work as all of them were on strike. It is alleged that at that time, Lahane came there and asked for Waghela and further made casteist remarks about him. A police complaint was then filed and Lahane sought anticipatory bail which was granted by the special court.
Charges are yet to be framed in the case before the special court with Lahane having sought for discharge through advocate Swapana Kode claiming that the complaint was false. During the past few hearings, the court had sought original documents in the case and adjourned the matter.
On Saturday, retired ACP Sanjay Divadkar, the initial investigating officer in the case, and special public prosecutor Sanjana Sharma were present before court for hearing on the discharge plea. The matter was adjourned till April 19 for Waghela’s intervention.