THE Punjab and Haryana High Court (HC) Monday dismissed a petition filed by the five Gurgaon Police officials accused of killing gangster Sandeep Gadoli in an alleged fake encounter. Hearing the petition, the HC had earlier restrained the Mumbai Police from arresting the policemen.
Sub-inspector Pradyumna Yadav and his four associates had pleaded that their suspension, ordered by the Gurgaon deputy commissioner of police on May 30, be cancelled, and that the case be transferred from the Mumbai Police to the Haryana Police.
The dismissal of the petition will allow the Mumbai Police to issue warrants against the five and subsequently arrest them. The policemen can, however, file an appeal in the Supreme Court.
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Representing Maharashtra, public prosecutor Sandeep Shinde argued against the protection given to the policemen. Speaking to The Indian Express, he said the HC found merit in his submissions. “The court, perhaps, felt misled by the petition and took note of my argument that it did not have the jurisdiction to have granted protection,” said Shinde.
Investigations carried out by the Mumbai Police proved the complicity of the five policemen in conducting the encounter, following which an FIR was registered against them.
Shinde, during the course of the arguments, submitted an affidavit elaborating the chain of events leading to the incident and the legalities that followed. The facts of the case, he argued, were different from what the Haryana policemen canvassed while seeking the court’s reprieve.
Shinde contested the relief given to the policemen, saying since the incident had taken place in Mumbai the jurisdiction also lay there. “The court was fully convinced with our arguments. Now that their petition is dismissed, the Mumbai police can go ahead with the arrests. The order should be out within four to five days,” he told The Indian Express.
The Haryana government did not argue in the case at all, it was learnt, though it had defended the policemen when Gadoli’s family moved the Bombay High Court seeking action against them. Haryana had then argued that an FIR against the police would only open floodgates for those who cried foul and moved court in such situations.
A vacation bench of the Punjab and Haryana HC, headed by Justice M Jeyapaul, was Monday hearing the petition filed by SI Yadav and his four colleagues.
On June 13, while refraining the Mumbai Police from arresting the petitioners, the bench had, in its interim order, and directed the policemen to join the investigation being carried out by the Mumbai Police.
A team of Gurgaon Police Crime Branch headed by SI Yadav had on February 7 come to Mumbai to arrest Gadoli, who had over two dozen FIRs registered against him. On entering Gadoli’s room in a hotel in Andheri area, the policemen claimed, they had asked him to surrender but the gangster fired at them. According to the policemen, they fired shots in self-defence, which killed Gadoli.
Appearing in the Supreme Court last month, the Mumbai Police Special Investigating Team, said it found the encounter “fake”.
[With ENS, Chandigarh]