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Kerala HC: The entire system including the police allowed conman Monson Mavunkal to take everyone for a ride

There are rape cases and POCSO cases being registered against him. All of this when the highest of authorities were visiting his residence. What is happening? the court questioned

Published: 29th October 2021 08:18 PM  |   Last Updated: 29th October 2021 08:18 PM   |  A+A-

Monson Mavunkal’s house at Kaloor in Kochi | Express

By Express News Service

KOCHI: The Kerala High Court on Friday observed that the entire system including the police allowed Monson Mavunkal, a fake antiquities dealer, to take everyone for a ride in the state. 

"A stitch in time saves nine. The police let the man continue for three years. Look where we are today. There are rape cases and POCSO cases being registered against him. All of this when the highest of authorities were visiting his residence. What is happening? Can the police really investigate this? Because the highest police officers were involved in this case. Women and children are involved here; couldn't this have been avoided if action had been taken," said the court.

Justice Devan Ramachandran also asked the State government to inform the court whether entities having links beyond the boards or persons of non-residents are involved in the cases registered against the fake antiquities dealer.

The court also asked whether the SIT had information about someone bigger than the ordinary con job or theft or it had something to do with the international borders. The allegations of involvement of an association of expatriates were in the public domain. However, the affidavit filed by the government did not make any mention of the involvement of persons outside the state borders or persons of non-residents.

It directed the state police chief to produce the three letters which were mentioned in the affidavit. The letter sent by ADGP Manoj Abraham on May 22, 2019, the state police chief's letter directing inquiry against Monson, and the letter sent by Monson seeking police protection on May 31, 2019.

The court passed the order when a petition filed by a former driver of Monson complaining about police harassment came up for hearing.

The court also asked whether there are bigger things than what we can see now in this case? The Director-General of Prosecution replied that there is no such information.

The court observed that there was a breakdown of the system and Monson took everybody for a ride. 

"Had the police acted when it raised suspicion about the activities of the antique dealer, his activities could have been stopped. The police had given protection to his house on the grounds that antiquities were kept there," the court said adding this was despite the fact that the Additional Director General Manoj Abraham had raised doubts about his activities and the State Police Chief ordered the Additional  Director General of Police (Intelligence) to conduct a discreet inquiry in the possession of the various artifacts by Monson. In fact, it took seven months for the ADGP (Intelligence) to come out with a report on this aspect.

The court also pointed out that those who claimed to have possessions of antiquities should have obtained a registration from the Archeological Survey of India under the Antiquities and Art Treasure Act and rules. When the two police officers- Behera and Manoj Abraham- who made an unscheduled visit to the house of Monson and saw the articles, and one of the officers raised doubts about the artifacts, the first thing that should have come across such police officers was whether they were registered. "Were these officers not aware of the Act? Were they not curious when they saw the staff of Moses or Tip Sultan's throne, which are by all means more than 100 years old if they were registered? Anybody with a cursory knowledge of law would have known that none of them was registered under the Act.

The affidavit filed by the State Police Chief stated that the former DGP Loknatha Behera and ADGP (HQ) Manoj Abraham visited the house of Monson on May 11, 2019, and it was an unscheduled visit.  Who gave the information regarding this man? the court asked.



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