Mumbai News: Constable's Forgery Case Reveals Backlog In Signature Verifications Since 2016 In State Crime Branch

Mumbai News: Constable's Forgery Case Reveals Backlog In Signature Verifications Since 2016 In State Crime Branch

In 2011, Mane was on duty at CSMT when he apprehended two persons with around 4kg gold and Rs 38 lakh cash.

Megha KuchikUpdated: Saturday, June 22, 2024, 12:30 PM IST
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Mumbai News: Constable's Forgery Case Reveals Backlog In Signature Verifications Since 2016 In State Crime Branch | Representational Image

A pending case of a constable’s signature being allegedly forged has revealed that scores of cases have been awaiting signature verification since 2016 by the Signature and Photographic Centre of the state’s crime branch. The centre recently offered this explanation to CSMT (Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus) police regarding the case of railway constable Eknath Mane, who was also awarded for his daredevilry in the 26/11 terrorist attack.

In the reply, the Signature and Photographic Department mentioned that cases filed in this office since 2016 are pending for examination. The department prioritizes cases pending in the High Court, and Sessions Court, as well as serious cases under Indian Penal Code sections 302 (murder), 306 (abetment of suicide), 498(A) (husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty), 376 (rape), CrPC 174 (the police officer is bound to give information to the nearest magistrate, who is empowered to hold inquiries when he receives information regarding the unnatural death of a person), and old cases. Additionally, regarding the issuance of documents, cases from the last three years are being prioritized as per the policy of the Additional Director General of Police, Crime Branch Department, Maharashtra.

Social activist Samir Zaveri said, “Private firms give results in two or three days; it’s clear that documents or signatures can be verified in this duration. There is inadequate staff at the centre, resulting in pendency of cases for eight years. The government authorities need to recruit to be able to file reports within a week.”

In 2011, Mane was on duty at CSMT when he apprehended two persons with around 4kg gold and Rs38 lakh cash. He claims that the matter was related to hawala transactions and alleged that his seniors ignored the matter and instead filed a case against him. Mane provided his statement to the railway police, but his signature was allegedly forged and a fake statement produced. As a result, Mane was suspended but later reinstated. He is currently with the Vasai railway police.

In 2021, he approached his seniors and requested justice. The seniors informed the CSMT senior police inspector, following which the Government Railway Police sent the documents to the Signature and Photographic Centre in August 2023.

Sukhanand Sabde, former DCP and executive president of Maharashtra’s Former Police Officers and Employees Organisation said, “Mane consistently raises his voice against corruption and suffers consequently. Police officers involved him in fake cases, conducted several fake inquiries, and imposed unjust punishment. The department even stopped his salary. Typically, any inquiry lasts a year; in Mane’s case, the inquiries have been ongoing for many years. I believe the police officers are displaying a lack of knowledge of the law through their actions. In the state police, almost 60-70% of personnel live in fear of being named in fake cases and getting suspended.”

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