In keeping with a judicial directive, the Mumbai Crime Branch today submitted to the Bombay High Court the ‘case diaries’ pertaining to the murder of Navi Mumbai builder Sunil Loharia. The ‘case diaries’ were submitted in sealed covers to the bench headed by Justice P V Hardas which adjourned the matter to March 14.
The court would go through the diaries to decide whether the Loharia murder probe should be handed over to CBI as prayed in the PIL filed by activist Ketan Tirodkar. On the last occasion, police had produced ‘Call Data Records’ of telephone talks purportedly between senior police officers and some accused in the Loharia murder case.
The records, produced during the hearing of a PIL alleging police-accused nexus, contain purported telephonic talks between Navi Mumbai Police Commissioner A K Sharma and absconding accused Anurag Garg. The bench had also asked police to flag those pages in the ‘case diaries’ which pertain to investigation of telephonic talks between police officers and the accused.
The PIL prayed for transfer of investigations to an independent agency such as CBI as it alleged that the accused were shielded by police. The petitioner alleged that there was evidence with the investigating authorities to show that Navi Mumbai Police Commissioner and a senior police inspector were in touch with accused before and after Loharia’s murder in February 2013.
Earlier, the prosecution had informed the court that the statements of police officers were yet to be recorded and that steps were being taken to declare absconding accused as proclaimed offenders and attach their properties, so as to compel them to appear before the trial court.
The petitioner alleged that rival builder Suresh Bijlani and architect Anurag Garg, both accused in the case, were spotted by Loharia’s son in the police station where he had gone to lodge a complaint. Bijlani has since been arrested while Garg is still absconding.
A senior police inspector had also refused to name these two accused in the FIR, Tirodkar alleged.
Investigations in this case were earlier being conducted by Navi Mumbai police but later the probe was given to Mumbai Crime Branch. (PTI)