Palghar FB case: HC asks govt if it will act against cops

Bombay High Court Tuesday asked the state government whether it plans to initiate criminal action against police officers responsible for the arrest of two college students

Written by Express News Service | Mumbai | Published: July 24, 2013 2:25:47 am

Bombay High Court Tuesday asked the state government whether it plans to initiate criminal action against police officers responsible for the arrest of two college students from Palghar for posting comments on Facebook opposing the bandh during Shiv Sena leader Bal Thackeray’s funeral last year.

“Nobody should take the law into their hands. If an ordinary citizen had done this,what would you (state) have done? Why don’t you set the law in motion when a police officer is involved?” a division bench of Justices S C Dharmadhikari and S B Shukre asked. The court reminded the state that the law is the same for everyone.

The court was hearing a PIL filed by former journalist Ketan Tirodkar seeking action against the “errant” policemen for the wrongful confinement of the two girls and falsification of records.

Additional public prosecutor Jayesh Yagnik informed the court that the government had initiated a departmental inquiry against SP Ravindra Shengaonkar,Thane (rural),additional SP Sangram Nishandar,Thane (rural) and senior inspector Shrikant Pingle. The three have been under suspension.

“Is the state of the opinion that they should face only a departmental inquiry? You feel this is not a punishable offence?” Justice Dharmadhikari asked. The court noted that just because no member of public has come forward to give a complaint does not mean the police force cannot take action against the errant personnel on its own.

Adjourning the case for a week,the judges asked the state to inform them whether it would take action in the case or close it with a departmental inquiry.

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