The Bombay High Court on Tuesday directed RAK Marg police station to ascertain if an ex-Army officer, allegedly threatened over property by a Shiv Sena corporator, needed protection.
The direction came in response to a plea filed by the officer, Sujit Apte, claiming that Corporator Anil Ghole, along with employees of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), entered his property and threatened him. He sought the HC’s intervention in ensuring police cover for him. He further alleged that the police refused to file an FIR against the corporator.
On December 29, a division bench of Justice SS Shinde and Justice Abhay Ahuja heard his plea, filed through advocates Dhrutiman Joshi and Amey Sawant. It said a corporator of the ruling party, along with employees of the municipal body, entered his house on December 13 and, therefore, he has sought police protection. Apte submitted that he had already filed an application for protection at the RAK Marg police station.
The petitioner also sought directions to the Mumbai Police to register an FIR against the corporator and two others for threatening him with ‘dire consequences’ and provide him protection.
The petition also sought the court direction for publication of information on district-wise committees that had been constituted, along with contact details at Taluka level, on the government’s website so that ex-servicemen and their families can raise grievances.
As per his plea, Apte’s brother, who lives in the United Kingdom, had purchased a property in Wadala in 2016, which has a slum nearby and a religious structure right next to it. The petitioner said the structure is illegal and demolition was carried out in 2017 by the BMC. The ex-serviceman, who has power of attorney over his brother’s property, claimed that some people reconstructed the temple and it was razed again by the BMC on December 11, 2020.
It was alleged that the corporator and a few others gathered at his property on December 13 and threatened him about the demolition, prompting him to lodge a police complaint. The counsel representing the corporation denied the allegation.
After hearing submissions on both sides, the court issued a notice to respondents and noted, “The aforesaid aspect will be examined on a returnable date. However, in interregnum, the additional public prosecutor to inform an in-charge of the concerned police station in whose jurisdiction the petitioner is residing, if necessary, to grant police protection to the petitioner and his family.”
The court scheduled the next hearing on January 13.