The Mumbai Police placed two constables under suspension on June 2 for allegedly permitting an undertrial to spend some ‘quality time’ with his wife instead of ferrying him to jail.
On April 9, the main accused in journalist J Dey’s murder case, Satish Kalia, was supposed to be ferried by the escort personnel attached to the Local Arms Division (LA) of the Mumbai Police to the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) Court located inside the Arthur Road premises itself. “Around 4.45 pm, after the hearing concluded, constables Shamnath Solanki and Harinath Mane instead of taking Kalia to the Arthur Road jail, took him to Mahalaxmi race course and allowed to meet his wife in the police van for around 45 minutes. Around 6 pm, the constables took the accused back to the Arthur Road jail,” the police said.
“The MCOCA court is inside the Arthur Road jail itself, but the escort team is not allowed by the jail authorities to escort them from the internal road. They get the accused on the jail gate from where the escort party ferries them to the court in their police van. The distance is hardly a few metres, but as part of the standard operating procedure the accused are ferried in a police van,” explained a senior police officer, who did not wish to be named.
Confirming the development, Quaiser Khalid, Additional Commissioner of Police (LA), said the two constables had been suspended for dereliction of duty. “After we received a source-based information, an inquiry was carried out and we found the two constables guilty of dereliction of duty, following which they were put under suspension. An inquiry is being carried out by B Gatakdaud, Deputy Commissioner of Police (LA- 2),” Khalid added.
The police is also probing the complicity of another constable. “The inquiry has revealed that there were three constables in the police van who ferried Kalia. While the two police constables were assigned to escort Kalia, another policeman was assigned another duty, but he was present in the police van and took Kalia to meet his wife. We are still probing his role. Requisite action will be taken against him once inquiry is completed,” the source added.