NEW DELHI: The Maharashtra government has filed a status report in the Supreme Court stating that 15 police personnel were punished with pay cuts and two sent on compulsory retirement, in connection with the Palghar mob lynching incident.
The state government told a bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan that it has filed an affidavit last month in which it has given various details, including action taken against policemen for alleged dereliction of duties in the case.
"We have placed on record all the actions taken by the state," the counsel appearing for Maharashtra told the bench, also comprising Justices R S Reddy and M R Shah.
“A departmental inquiry was ordered against the police personnel, who have been prima-facie found negligent and derelict in the performance of their duties in handling the incident and preventing the commission of a crime at and around the time of the incident,” the status report stated.
Maharashtra Police had last month filed the affidavit in the top court saying that action has been taken against 18 personnel, ranging from dismissal from service to salary cuts.
The apex court was hearing the pleas, including those seeking separate probes by the CBI and the NIA into the alleged lynching.
It said after the departmental inquiry against police personnel was completed, special IGP Konkan Range issued show-cause notices to the cops.
After their response, Range issued the final order on August 21, imposing punishment on them.
The three victims from Kandivali were travelling in a car to attend a funeral in Surat amid the lockdown when their vehicle was stopped and they were attacked and killed by a mob in Gadchinchile on April 16 in the presence of police.
The affidavit also said that state's criminal investigation department has so far filed two charge sheets in the case.
Some of the pleas filed in the apex court have alleged that investigation by state police was being conducted in a biased manner.
The victims were identified as Chikne Maharaj Kalpavrukshagiri, 70, Sushil Giri Maharaj, 35, and Nilesh Telgade, 30, who was driving the vehicle.
During the hearing, conducted through video-conferencing, one of the petitioners claimed they have got the around 1000-page affidavit filed by the state on Tuesday night only.
"Why is everybody filing reply at the last moment," the bench said, adding that it would grant time to the petitioners to file their reply.
A lawyer representing another petitioner argued that one wing of the state machinery is investigating the other wing in the case and this would not inspire confidence.
"We will consider it. We have not read the affidavit. How can we decide it today? Let the petitioners file their reply then we will take it up," the bench said.
The bench referred to the earlier order passed by it asking the state to bring on record the details of enquiry, including action taken against the police personnel, in the case.
The state's counsel said these details have already been placed on record.
"Action has been initiated against policemen. One policeman has been dismissed, some of them have been compulsorily retired," the state's counsel said, adding that charge sheet has been filed in the case.
The bench has posted the matter for hearing in the week commencing November 16.
"An affidavit has been filed by the state. Let the petitioners file a reply to the affidavit within two weeks," the bench said in its order.
Earlier, the SC had asked the Maharashtra government to bring on record the charge sheet and details of the inquiry against the cops in connection with the incident.
The court was hearing petitions seeking a probe by the CBI and registration of an FIR against the cops for failing to prevent the mob from gathering in violation of the lockdown norms.
(With PTI Inputs)