MCOCA court had earlier held that there was evidence against ACP Sudhakar Pujari but there was no police sanction for the case
The Bombay High court on Monday admitted a petition alleging that Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Sudhakar Pujari from the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has links with gangster Chhota Rajan.
The court held that there was prima facie evidence against Pujari, who was the main investigator in the mutli-crore MPSC scam. Pujari has also been in the limelight for the recent arrest of T A Shivare, who was the principal of Hinduja college. In 1999, more than 300 students’ original answer sheets were substituted with duplicate ones in the examination conducted for the posts of sales tax inspector, constables and Mantralaya assistants.
A private complaint was filed in the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) court by one of the prime accused in the MPSC case, Avinash Sanas. Sanas alleged that Pujari had links with underworld don Chhota Rajan. Sanas said that when he applied for bail in the Sessions Court, Pujari used Rajan’s name to threaten him. The witnesses to depose in the MCOCA court in the case included Pradeep Sawant, suspended deputy commissioner of police, (detection), former additional director general of police, Tukaram Choudhary, former commissioner of police, M N Singh, current MPSC chief and then joint commissioner of police, (Administration), V N Deshmukh and Sanjeev Dayal, Director of Mahashtra Police Academy. Sawant had told the court that Mumbai police’s Crime Branch had tapes of Pujari’s conversation with Rajan. Also on record were confidential letters, in which then CP M N Singh had described Pujari’s style of working as ‘suspicious’. The letter stated that Pujari’s ‘services were likely to be utilised by organised gangs for their interest’. Singh had recommended that Pujari be transferred to the Special Branch and his deputation with the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) be cancelled. Desmukh had also written a letter to the DGP on October 10, 2001 requesting the transfer of Pujari to the rural areas.
The MCOCA court had on November 6, 2004, held that though a prima facie case had been made out against Pujari, there was no sanction from the police. Sanas filed a criminal writ petition in the Bombay High court against this order in May 2005. Subsequently, in December 2005, the full bench of the HC held that police sanction was not a condition for a private complaint in a MCOCA case. “In the light of the full bench judgement there is no requirement of sanction. Justice Raju Mohite observed that there is prima facie evidence against Pujari and has admitted the petition,” said Sameer Vaidya, Sanas’s lawyer