New Delhi, Jan 31: The Supreme Court has imposed a cost of Rs 12 lakh on six Maharashtra Police personnel for conspiring and abetting illegal detention of three persons and getting their rented property demolished without any court order.
"Out of the six police personnel, three are constables, one is a Head Constable, one is a Sub Inspector, and one is an Inspector. They shall suffer a cost of Rs 50,000 per constable, Rs 1 lakh by the Head Constable, Rs 1.50 lakh by the Sub-Inspector, and Rs 2 lakh by the Inspector, totalling Rs 6 lakh for each case with the above distribution," said a bench of Justices Vikram Nath and S.C. Sharma.
The bench said that this amount will be deposited within 4 weeks in the Armed Forces Battle Casualties Welfare Fund and thereupon, the proceedings of the two complaint cases will stand closed.
If the proof of deposit is not filed within the stipulated time, the petitions filed before the Supreme Court by the police personnel would stand dismissed, it added.
On March 9, 2022, three tenants were held for about 24 hours in the police station and in the meantime, their rented premises were demolished by relatives of the former owner with the support of the local police.
At the police station, the tenants were also forced to sign some documents, apparently giving their consent to vacate the premises voluntarily. Thereafter, two tenants moved an application before a Magistrate for registration of FIR against relatives of former owner, subsequent purchasers, and six police personnel namely, Shatrughna Atmaram Patil, Jaipal Manikrao Hire, Milind Ashok Bhamare, Suryakant Raghunath Salunkhe, Nilesh Subhash More, and Sunil Kautik Hatkar.
During the pendency of the case, the evicted tenants filed affidavits before the apex court stating that they do not wish to further prosecute their complaint as they have entered into settlement with the subsequent purchasers.
"However, what we are not satisfied with is why the police personnel have been allowed to go scot-free in a case where they had an apparent role in conspiring and in abetting the crime of the illegal detention of the tenants, coercing them to sign the document against their will, and getting the premises in question demolished without any order from a competent Court," said the bench in its judgment passed on January 30.