To consider withdrawing a circular issued by D Shivanandan, former Director General of police, the Bombay High Court has given Maharashtra government a week’s time by asking the police officials across the state not to record in station diaries the instructions coming from politicians pertaining to investigations.
Public Interest Litigations (PIL) were filed by former IAS officer Avinash Dharmadhikari and former journalist Ketan Tirodkar on questioning the legality of the circular after the Supreme Court imposed a fine of Rs. 10lakh on the state government over former chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh allegedly protecting Guruchand, a money lender and father of congress MLA Dilip Sananda from arrest in 2006.
Deshmukh’s secretary had called Khamgaon police to tell them not to register a case against Guruchand after farmers complained he was charging high interest.
The provisions in the Criminal Procedure Code which stated that, the police officer is statutorily obliged to make all relevant entries pertaining to investigations of a case, was referred by counsel for Dharmadhikari.
A division bench consisting Justices Ranjana Desai and R. V. More stated that, there is nothing wrong if the investigating officer makes an entry of a phone call made by a minister with a purpose of influencing him and observed that such calls would help to maintain transparency.
Report by Sharika