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10 days before they shot Vashisht, police told court no complaint, no FIR against him

Vashisht sought anticipatory bail from Delhi court, said he feared arrest by Special Cell in ‘some false, concocted cases’.

Written by Mahender Singh Manral | New Delhi |
Updated: May 20, 2015 6:30:25 am
Shootout Sagar Ratna, delhi police, restaurant, delhi restaurant, Manoj Awasthi, police encounter, delhi police, encounter, Delhi restaurant encounter, Delhi, delhi encounter, delhi news, delhi sagar ratna, delhi encounter news, delhi gangster encounter, india news, local news, Indian Express The SIT is examining footage form seven CCTV that were installed inside the restaurant. (Source: Express photo)

Ten days before he was gunned down in an alleged encounter in a central Delhi restaurant on May 16, Manoj Vashisht’s application for anticipatory bail was disposed by a city court after the Delhi Police Special Cell told the judge that “neither any FIR has been registered against the applicant/accused nor any complaint has been received against him”.

This flies in the face of the Special Cell claim that Vashisht was wanted in several cases of cheating involving real estate deals and had been on the run.

On Tuesday, Delhi Police said members of the Special Cell team involved in the alleged encounter would be transferred to ensure an impartial probe into the incident. A vigilance probe was also ordered.

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Fearing arrest, Vashisht had moved court for anticipatory bail on May 2. In his application, he said he “apprehends false implication by the officials of PS Special Cell as petitioner has committed no offence. The petitioner has strong apprehension of his arrest in some false and concocted cases. The petitioner is not a previous convict and has got clean antecedents”.

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On May 6, Additional Sessions Judge Reetesh Singh, ruling on the plea, said: “As per the report received from PS Special Cell, neither any FIR has been registered against the applicant/accused nor any complaint has been received against him. In view of the said report, no orders are required to be passed on the application for grant of anticipatory bail. The same stands disposed of.”

Lawyer Sanjay Srivastav told The Indian Express that Vashisht and his business partner had approached him on May 2 and asked him to file for anticipatory bail before a sessions court.

The restaurant, where Vashisht was killed, remained closed. The restaurant, where Vashisht was killed, remained closed.

“Vashisht told me that on April 29 while he was in a car with business partner Pankaj Allakha and a woman, two policemen on a motorcycle stopped the car near Dhaula Kuan. A police Gypsy suddenly turned up, stopping to the right of the car. Five police personnel, who were in plain clothes, stepped out from the Gypsy,” Srivastav said.

According to the lawyer, an officer of the Special Cell asked Vashisht and Allakha to come with them to the Cell office in Lodhi Colony and join an investigation.

“They got rattled and they asked them why were they being detained. At this point, they were threatened. After hearing the commotion, passersby intervened and Vashisht and and his partner managed to leave the place,” Srivastav said.

Vashisht’s brother Anil claimed that on April 29, Special Cell members followed Manoj’s car from Dhaula Kuan to Noida Pari Chowk.

“Once Manoj crossed Delhi, he stopped his car and got off. The car behind him stopped as well. Men claiming to be from the Special Cell too stepped out and told him he was wanted in a case with the Cell. My brother paid Rs 60,000 and was allowed to leave,” Anil alleged.

When contacted, Special Commissioner S N Shrivastava, who heads the Special Cell, declined comment on the matter.

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