Updated: March 25, 2021 12:35:31 am
Claiming that the allegations against him are politically motivated, Dadra and Nagar Haveli (DNH) Collector Sandeep Kumar Singh has moved a criminal writ petition before the Bombay High Court, challenging the FIR registered by Mumbai Police in connection with the death of MP Mohan Delkar.
Delkar, a 58-year-old seven-term MP from Dadra and Nagar Haveli, was found dead in a room at Hotel Sea Green South in Marine Drive on February 22.
The Mumbai Police on March 9 registered an FIR on charge of abetment to suicide and provisions of the Atrocities Act, after Delkar’s family members visited the Marine Drive police station and lodged a complaint. The FIR was registered on behalf of Delkar’s 30-year-old son Abhinav for offences punishable under sections 306 (abetment to suicide), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code along with provisions of the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act.
The FIR had alleged that Delkar was under pressure for the past one year and that the DNH administration was continuously harassing him and behaving disrespectfully with him to gain control over Delkar’s college, SSR College of Pharmacy and Management, and to prevent him from contesting further elections.
The complaint alleged that Delkar had raised his voice on several occasions against the DNH administration and filed complaints against them and in return, ‘false and baseless’ complaints were made by the administration against him. The complaint had also stated that Delkar was insulted by the administration on the liberation day of DNH, which is celebrated on August 2 and he was not allowed to give a speech in that function.
The complaint was filed against Union Territory Administrator Praful Khoda Patel, District Collector Sandeep Singh, then Superintendent of Police Sharad Darade, Deputy Collector Apurva Sharma, Sub Divisional Officer Manasvi Jain, Police Inspector (Silvassa) Manoj Patel, Rohit Yadav (DNH administrative department official), BJP leader Fattesingh Chauhan and Silvassa talathi Dilip Patel, for allegedly having abetted suicide by misusing their posts and powers and intentionally conspiring against Delkar.
A division bench of justice S S Shinde and Justice Manish Pitale on Wednesday was told by Senior Counsel Amit Desai and advocate Sunny Bhimra for Singh that the FIR was “baseless, false and contrary to the provisions of law”.
“During his tenure, till date, the only action taken by him (Singh) in respect of anything that is related to the deceased, is pertaining to Svargiya Sanjhibhai Rupjhibhai( SSR) Memorial Trust, of which Delkar was chairman during his lifetime. The officer of petitioner had received a letter from the PMO, stating that there were several complaints received in respect of certain lands of the government being encroached by the Trust, and therefore immediate inquiry was to be conducted,” the plea stated.
The plea said there is no specific allegation against Singh, except the vague and generalised allegation that he was given “insulting treatment”. The plea submitted that incidences pertaining to the allegations have taken place in a Union Territory and the Mumbai Police had no role to probe them.
Singh referred to the March 20 letter written by former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, in which allegations were made that Deshmukh, despite adverse legal opinion, insisted on filing an FIR on the basis of Delkar’s suicide note, naming the UT administrator and other officials so that he could use it for political mileage.
Singh said that as he is a public servant, if he gets arrested in connection with the present offence, he will be suffer harm which cannot be compensated in terms of money. He submitted that allegations made in the FIR can be explained on the basis of documents available with the DNH administration office and so, his custodial interrogation was not required.
Singh sought to the quash and set aside the FIR and pending hearing of the plea, sought interim relief of no coercive steps against him.
After Additional Public Prosecutor V B Konde-Deshmukh for the state government assured the court that the police will not arrest Singh till the next hearing, the court said that it will hear the plea on March 25.
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