Maharashtra HRC directs bizman to pay monetary damages to cops

Maharashtra State Human Rights Commission (MSHRC) has recently directed a businessman to pay monetary damages to the Mumbai Crime Branch for having launched fallacious, unfounded complaint against the police. The businessman had approached the Commission alleging assault and extortion by the police but the enquiry into the matter revealed that the allegations made by the businessman were false.

In fact the businessman had taken money from the family of Sameer Alwari (arrested last year by crime branch for running illegal telephone exchange), on the pretext of paying to the police to get Sameer released on bail.

In May last year, Mumbai Crime Branch sleuths following a tip-off from the Military Intelligence, had arrested Govandi resident Sameer Alwari (38) for allegedly running illegal telephone exchange. One Mohammad Arshad Khan had later approached Maharashtra State Human Rights Commission stating that on June 5, one of his acquaintance, Mussadin Alwari came to his garment shop with a request for immediate help for releasing his cousin Sameer Alwari arrested by the police. Khan immediately contacted his friend lawyer who agreed to appear for accused and apply for bail after submission of chargesheet before the court and also demanded legal fee of around Rs 7.50 lakh.

On June 10, around five policemen in plain clothes barged into his garment shop and asked him to accompany them to the Chembur crime branch office. Khan had alleged that there he was humiliated and assaulted with a wooden stick on his hand, shoulder and limbs and also by belt and was also threatened by the police to arrest him on a false charge of extortion. Khan had alleged that the police demanded Rs 10 lakh from him, Khan had claimed before the Commission.

The investigation wing of the Commission and crime branch then conducted an enquiry and learnt that in fact it was Khan who by taking advantage of Alwari's family, made them part with money on the pretext of paying it to the crime branch for releasing Sameer Alwari.

"Khan did not come with clean hands before the Commission and his allegations of custodial torture turned out to be fallacious and appears to have been made to conceal his own misdeeds. We arrived at the conclusion that by taking advantage of tricky status of Mussadin who was under mental stress on account of arrest of Sameer, Khan made him part money on the pretext of satisfying illegal demands made by the police. In fact after Khan's fraudulent act was exposed, he paid back the amount to Mussadin," the Commission, headed by Chairperson MA Sayeed, stated in its order.

The Commission has directed Khan to pay damages of Rs 25000 to the police and dismissed his complaint stating that tendencies of such nature should be nipped in the bus as such wild nature of allegations not only tarnishes the image of the law enforcing agency but also demoralises them from discharging their duties without any fear or favour.

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