IN A recent order acquitting two women accused in a murder case, the sessions court has directed the police commissioner to take action against the investigating officer of the case for “faulty investigation and casual approach”.
“The available evidence is totally faulty and rather there is no evidence at all and it is the total fault and total negligence on the part of Inspector Bhagdikar, who is now senior inspector of Dongri police station. Prosecution is directed to forward the certified copy of this judgment to the commissioner of police, Mumbai, for taking suitable action against him for his intentional misdirected and faulty investigation and for his casual approach,” the court said.
The accused — Jubeda Sayyed, Jamila Sayyed and Haresh Patil — were booked for the murder of Worli resident Shahnaz Sayyed on August 31, 2015. While 36-year-old Patil died as an undertrial in 2016 at JJ Hospital, the two women were in custody for over three years. According to the chargesheet, the three accused along with two juveniles — who were tried separately — committed the murder of Shahnaz by pouring kerosene on her after a dispute regarding ownership of the house they were living in.
According to the statement of the victim’s daughter, Simran, after an argument between the two families on August 31, 2015, she, her neighbour Smita and her mother left to file an FIR against the accused. Her mother, Shahnaz, however, returned home as she had not taken a dupatta. When her mother did not return, Simran went home again to check on her mother and found that her mother was running around, screaming in pain as she was burnt. While neighbours tried to douse the fire by pouring water on her, she said, she had seen the two women accused standing nearby. The victim was rushed to Nair Hospital but she had already suffered 97 per cent burns. At the hospital, the victim’s employee, one Mrs Mehra also reached, and recorded a video on her phone of the victim telling her that the accused had poured kerosene on her and lit her.
The police, however, did not produce the memory card on which this video was recorded to present before court as evidence. “…the so called recording on mobile phone along with mobile and memory card is not produced in Court nor it is verified by investigation officer through FSL,” the court said.