MUMBAI: The police on Friday told Bombay High Court it won't arrest Deputy Commissioner of Police Akbar Pathan till August 5 in a corruption case lodged against him and seven others, including senior IPS officer Param Bir Singh.
A bench of Justices SS Shinde and NJ Jamadar was hearing a petition filed by Pathan seeking interim protection and quashing of FIR. Public prosecutor Aruna Kamat Pai sought time in the matter following which the bench posted the plea for hearing on August 5.
Pai told HC that no coercive action by way of arrest shall be taken against the petitioner till August 5. The Marine Drive police station had lodged an FIR against Pathan, Singh and four other police officers and two others on a complaint by builder Shyamsunder Agarwal.
According to Agarwal, Singh, Pathan and the other police officers accused in the case demanded Rs 50 lakh and a 2BHK flat in Bhayander in neighbouring Thane district for not invoking the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) against him.
Pathan, in his petition, said the FIR was registered in gross violation of process of law in order to hamper the investigation against Agarwal, who is facing a case for alleged underworld nexus.
Pathan's counsel Niteen Pradhan said Pathan was still a DCP and an FIR could not have been registered directly against him, and initially, a preliminary enquiry has to be conducted if any allegation is made against a public servant. "In the absence of preliminary inquiry, an FIR has been registered. This couldn't have been done," argued Pradhan.
Under the Prevention of Corruption Act, a preliminary enquiry and, thereafter, open enquiry is contemplated. If the authorities are satisfied during the open enquiry that an offence is made out, they they grant sanction to register an FIR.
In his petition, Pathan claimed there were 19 criminal cases lodged against Agarwal, adding that he had never met the latter and he was aware of the complaint against the builder in his supervisory capacity, with the probe being conducted by another police officer.
Terming the FIR by Marine Drive police as malicious, the petition said it "not only jeoparadises the investigation by the police department, it will also demoralise the department for taking up investigation where the underworld is involved in organised crime".