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HC disposes PIL challenging Pujari's transfer

Written by: Staff

Mumbai, July 5 (UNI) The Bombay High Court today disposed of a public interest litigation challenging the transfer of police inspector S P Pujari who was earlier the investigating officer of 1999 MPSC scam case.

While disposing of the PIL, a division bench comprising justices R M Lodha and S F Vajifdar today observed that the trial in the case was to start in due course and the special anti-corruption court, trying the case, can order further enquiry on its own if required.

The PIL had been filed by Advovate Varsha Savant, a Pune-based lawyer, in 2003. It opposed an earlier transfer of Pujari in the middle of the investigations, alleging that some influential people involved had managed to get Pujari transferred thus trying to interfere with the investigation.

The High Court then quashed the transfer deciding to monitor the probe itself. However, Pujari was transferred again this May, and the petitioners moved the High Court again.

The state government told the court that Pujari was transferred out of anti-corruption bureau as his tenure of three years was over, and the probe in the MPSC scam too was complete. It had nothing to do with the investigation but was a routine process of the government.

But Pujari stated before the court that he was yet to arrest thirteen people and 29 people have been booked in the case. The probe was not over because of interference from his superiors, he contended.

At the last hearing, the court had sought an affidavit from Joint Commissioner of Police Anil Dhere, who was the supervising officer in the case, as to whether, in his opinion, the probe was over or not.

In his affidavit filed today, Mr Dhere stated that the probe was over in October 2004. However, Pujari, who was present in the court today, sought to contest Mr Dhere's statements.

But the High Court held that officers working on the same case were speaking in different voices. However, with the filing of ten chargesheets in the case, ''the PIL has been taken to its logical conclusion.'' The court also held that it would not get into the dispute whether the probe was over or not. ''The trial court is best suited to examine this,'' the court held.

The court also directed the state government to see to it that Pujari, after being taken off the case, was not harassed by the accused persons as Pujari had earlier expressed an apprehension that some of the accused may harass him by filing false complaints against him.


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