A contempt petition has been filed in the Bombay High Court against Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh over the reinstatement of four policemen who are facing trial for the alleged custodial death of Ghatkopar blast case suspect Khwaja Yunus.
Asiya Begum, mother of Khwaja Yunus, filed the petition on Monday through senior counsel Mihir Desai, saying the reinstatement of the policemen amounted to wilful and
intentional defiance and non-compliance of the directions and orders passed by the high court" in April 2004.
By its orders passed in April 2004, the high court had directed the state government to suspend the four policemen immediately and start disciplinary inquiry against them as they have been prima facie found to be involved in the offence, the petition said.
Assistant police inspector Sachin Vaze and constables Rajendra Tiwari, Sunil Desai and Rajaram Nikam are currently facing trial on various charges, including murder and destruction of evidence, for the alleged custodial death of Khwaja Yunus in 2003.
Earlier this month, a review committee under the chairmanship of the police chief ordered for them to be reinstated in the police force, pending preliminary departmental inquiry and judicial trial.
Asiya Begum in her petition said till date no departmental inquiry was initiated against the four policemen, or if initiated, no report has been submitted.
As per the plea, the four policemen were under suspension since 2003-2004, and Vaze had in fact also tendered his resignation in 2008 and joined the Shiv Sena.
In 2019, the said political party Shiv Sena came to power in Maharashtra and in June 2020, the review committee purportedly reviewed the decision of suspension and recommended revocation of the same, the petition said.
Apart from the Mumbai police chief, the petition has also sought contempt action to be initiated against Amitabh Gupta, principal secretary in the state Home department.
The petition has sought the court to direct the state government and police to withdraw the reinstatement order dated June 5, 2020 and place the four under suspension.
It has also sought a direction to the police to initiate a departmental inquiry against the four personnel and submit a report expeditiously.
It also sought the court to impose a cost of Rs one lakh on the respondents to the petitioner.
Yunus (27) was arrested on December 25, 2002 under the now repealed Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) along with three others in connection with a blast that took place on December 2 in suburban Ghatkopar.
He was last seen on January 6, 2003 by the men arrested with him, who later informed a special POTA Court that Yunus was severely tortured by the police in lockup.
The police, however, claimed Yunus had escaped from the lockup.