THE Bombay High Court has quashed an FIR for defamation registered against ABI editor (investigation) Tarakant Dwivedi ‘Akela’ at the Kolsewadi police station in Kalyan, Thane district, Maharashtra. The police had registered the FIR against Akela after he exposed how policemen, builders and an MSEB contractor celebrated underworld don Ashwin Naik’s birthday and gifted him Rs 35 lakh in cash.
On November 16, 2016, a division bench of Justice V M Kanade and Justice Nutan D Sardessai quashed the FIR. On January 28, 2015, ABI (Akela Bureau of Investigation) published an article under the headline “Policemen, Builders, MSEB contractor celebrate underworld don Ashwin Naik’s birthday, gift Rs 35 lakh”.
According to the report, police constables Babasaheb Yadav, Anant Kadam alias Gotya, Chaudhary, an MSEB contractor and ‘Police Mitra’ Shyam Shelke, government licensee shop owner Mukesh Bhanushali and builders Shashi Gawali, Raju Ujgare and Ajay Singane paid a visit to Ashwin Naik’s Chinchpokli, Mumbai, office. They counted the notes sitting at the don’s office (ABI has photographs) and handed over Rs 35 lakh to him as a gift. They also got themselves clicked in group pictures (seen by ABI sources) with Ashwin Naik.
The then Joint Commissioner of Police V V Laxmi Narayan initiated an inquiry through Sanjay Jadhav, then DCP-Zone-3, Kalyan. Sanjay Jadhav appointed the then Senior Police Inspector S L Daule and Inspector B J Roham for further investigation. Shockingly, Sanjay Jadhav, S L Daule and B J Roham misguided V V Laxmi Narayan and submitted a false report to him.
The Kolsewadi police station first registered a non-cognizable (NC) complaint (No-236/2015, under section 500 and 501) against Akela and later an FIR (CR. No II-4/ 2015, under sections 500, 501 of IPC & 66(A) of the Information Technology Act) in the matter. Akela approached the Bombay High Court through lawyer B P Pandey of PNP Legal requesting that the FIR be quashed. Justice V M Kanade and Nutan D Sardessai pointed out that section 66 (A) of the IT Act has been held to be unconstitutional by the Supreme Court and section 500 and 501 is non-cognizable and as such an FIR cannot be registered. At the most, an NC complaint can be registered. So the honourable justices quashed the FIR.
Akela thanks Honourable Justice V M Kanade and Honourable Justice Nutan D Sardessai as well as Advocate B P Pandey, Vivek Pandey and Vikas Pandey. “I will approach the Bombay High Court soon requesting that the matter be investigated by the CID or the CBI as celebrating underworld don’s birthday is serious in nature. DCP Sanjay Jadhav, Senior Inspector S L Daule and Inspector B J Roham should also be punished for favouring the accused by doing biased investigation,” said Akela.