HC pulls up EOW officials in Sushmita Sen car import case

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Mumbai, Aug 20 (UNI) The Bombay High Court today pulled up officials of the Economic Offence Wing (EOW) for not producing proper record of investigation in the matter involving purchase of an imported Toyota Land Cruiser by Bollywood actor Sushmita Sen.

A Division bench of Justice J N Patel and K K Tated, while coming down heavily on the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) and Custom department, issued them with notices, directing them to file their say within four weeks.

It may be recalled that the car was imported to India by one Shriniwas Bala Shetty alias Vasu Thamalla on the pretext that he was bringing the car back after shifting residence to India.

Shetty hypothecated the car to Sushmita through car dealer Haren Choksi in April 2005.

Police suspect that there is a racket in evading customs duty by importing cars under transfer of residence permit.

According to a probe report submitted in the court by EOW senior inspector Nanasaheb Kamble, five persons -- Shriniwas Shetty (importer), Haren Choksi (dealer), Mukhtar Damanwala, Jangbahadur Singh Darshan Singh Gujral, and Manohar Lala Mane -- were arrested during the probe.

The probe also revealed that the Land Cruiser was imported using a fake passport in the name of Vasu Thamalla and was registered with Mumbai RTO under a false address.

The import of another car, which was eventually purchased by Sen, has also come under the scanner.

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