Published On: Sun, Aug 26th, 2018

Court orders action against cop over false case of ‘theft of question’ from Assembly

Panaji: A court here has ordered that “criminal proceedings” be initiated against a police officer for filing a false case of theft of a starred question from the Legislative Assembly against a social activist.

Goa Chief Secretary Dharmendra Sharma

Starred questions are important queries tabled in the legislature. Such questions and the answers to them are compiled in booklets by the legislature staff, but they are not supposed to be published outside before a discussion in the House.

Judicial Magistrate (First Class) Shubhalaxmi Shivolkar, in her order yesterday, said inspector Vishwesh Karpe of the Crime Branch should not have filed a case of theft in the matter by blindly following the orders of his superiors and political leaders.

The Crime Branch had registered a case of theft under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) against activist Kashinath Shetye in July, 2017 for allegedly stealing a copy of a starred question from the Assembly and uploading it on social media before it came up for discussion in the House.

The case was filed on a complaint from the legislature officials.

Shetye then filed a private complaint with the magistrate, seeking action against BJP MLA Nilesh Cabral, Goa Chief Secretary Dharmendra Sharma, Assembly Speaker Pramod Sawant and inspector Karpe for filing a false case.

The magistrate dismissed the charges against Cabral, Sharma and Sawant, but ordered registration of a case against the police officer.

“This is a classic example which shows how blindly the orders of political leaders and higher officers are followed by subordinate officers so as to cause hardship to the common man who is at the mercy of the so-called officers and political leaders,” the magistrate said in the order.

“….one can imagine the situation of a common man, to what extent a police officer can go to falsely implicate any person…if the so-called police machinery and persons in power intend to target a person,” she said.

Inspector Karpe was under obligation to hold a preliminary inquiry, but he went further and registered an FIR for theft by blindly following orders, she added.

There was no “lawful ground” for registering a case of theft, the court said and ordered that “criminal proceedings” be initiated against the officer.

PTI

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