HC raps state for inaction over Srikrishna commission report

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Mumbai, Feb 4 (UNI) The Bombay High Court today rapped the Maharashtra government for failing to take any action against police officer Nikhil Kapse, indicted by Justice Srikrishna Commission, which enquired into the 1992-93 communal riots in Mumbai.

Kapse had allegedly opened 'unprovoked' firing in Hari Masjid, resulting in death of seven persons.

The court has asked the state to reply, by tomorrow, as to when all papers related to the case would be handed over to CBI.

One of the injured Farook Mohammed Kasim Mapkar moved the High Court, seeking criminal prosecution against the police party led by the then police Sub-Inspector Nikhil Kapse, who had opened fire on Namazis assembled in Hari Masjid.

Seven persons had died and seven others were injured in the January 10, 1993 police firing but despite numerous attempts on part of the petitioner, the police did not file FIR against the policemen.

The state government had, in October last year consented to hand over the case to the CBI.

Today, when Mapkar's petition came up for the hearing, a division bench comprising Justices S B Mhase and Amjad Sayyad questioned as to on what basis the state has decided to handover the case to CBI.

The Judges wanted to know whether congnisable offence was made out in the complaint filed by Mapkar and commented that ''you cannot pass the buck like this''.

The Judges also asked as to how Special Task Force, appointed by the Congress-led government in the state for implementing Justice Srikrishna Commission's recommendations, set aside judicial findings of the Commission, when Public Prosecutor Satish Borulkar pointed out towards STF's finding that there was no material for initiating criminal prosecution against Kapse and others, allegedly involved in Hari Masjid firing.

The Judges said it was not open for the STF to bypass findings of a Judicial Commission. The court also lamented that police had failed to prove any charge against Kapse in departmental disciplinary action observing it was just an eyewash, a camouflaging show for the public.

Referring to the incident of Hari Masjid police firing, Justice Srikrishna Committee has observed in its report that, ''the police version of the story was totally unbelievable and fabricated'' and also that, ''PSI Kapse, presently working with the economic offences wing of the Mumbai police, not only supressed facts but also fabricated records''.

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