Police Commissioner of Aurangabad To Pay 7 Lakhs as Compensation for Harassment: Bombay High Court

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Justice T.V. Nalawade and Justice M.G. Sewlikar, on December 8’ 2020, said that,

“…instances of the present nature are increasing day by day. It is none of the business of the police to take such steps against persons who can take legal recourse for enforcement of their civil rights.”

The Aurangabad of the Bombay High Court, on Friday, asked the Police Commissioner of Aurangabad and the sub-police inspector of Aurangabad to pay a fine of Rs. 7 lakhs as compensation to a businessman, Ram Wonregaonkar, for harassing the petitioner and illegally taking some of the legal documents which would’ve helped him in claiming his money back which he had loaned to a contractor friend of his in the January of 2015.

Facts of the case:

The petitioner, Mr. Ram Waregaonkar lend a loan of Rs. 6.5 lac/- to his Zilla Parishad Civil Contractor friend, Mr. Sanjay Ambhure, on January 7’ 2015 against a notarized agreement. Unofficially, as claimed by the petitioner, he loaned Rs. 8 lacs/- but no document for the same was made.

Later, Mr. Ambhure issued a check of Rs. 6.5 lacs/- to Mr. Waegaonkar and asked him to deposit the same after there would be enough funds in Mr. Ambhure’s account.

Mr. Waregaonkar was summoned by the Sub-Police Inspector, Mr. Chavan, informing him that he’ll be booked for a criminal case if he did not hand over the legal, notarized documents and the cheque that he received from Mr. Ambhure, in his presence. PSI Chavan subsequently collected the documents and made Mr. Waregaonkar that this issue between him and Mr. Ambhure stood resolved as there was an oral assurance by Ambhure that he’ll return the amount.

Judgement

“Such things are being done at the instance of higher-ups or some influential persons. The persons, who have no influence, become helpless when the officers of the rank of police commissioner do such things. To make police realize that they will not be spared when they indulge in such activities, this court is directing the police to pay the compensation of Rs. 7 lacs.”, said the Bench.

The Bench directed the state to deposit the compensation amount within 45 days from the date of order. The court also stated that the state was allowed to ask the accused to pay the compensation amount if it wanted to and to proceed against the respondents, the Police Commissioner at the time of relevance, and the Sub-Inspector of Police.

Advocate V.D. Sapkal was the senior counsel, who appeared on behalf of the petitioner. While putting forward his arguments, he also mentioned that before bringing the issue to the court, Mr. Ram Waregaonkar, the petitioner, made two written representations to the Aurangabad Chief of Police, regarding the matter, on May 22’ 2017 and August 11’ 2017, respectively. However, since he couldn’t get his documents back, he moved ahead and filed a petition in the High Court in order to seek some relief for the same.

The Aurangabad Police was headed by Mr. Amitesh Kumar, now, Nagpur Police Commissioner, from April 27’ 2015 to April 28’ 2017, and the present Joint Commission of Traffic in Mumbai, Yashasvi Yadav, had succeeded Kumar in the Aurangabad from April 28’ 2017 to March 15’ 2018.

As per Mr. Kumar,

“the complainant threatened to commit suicide. As the SOP, all such memorandums, complaints, and warnings about committing suicide are forwarded to the Special Branch (SB), just like we did.”


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