The Indian Express | 3 days ago | 07-08-2022 | 12:45 am
A court in Pune on Saturday awarded five years of rigorous imprisonment to an IAS officer for sexual assault on four girls aged between 8 and 10 years. Special judge S P Ponkshe also imposed a fine of Rs 10 lakh on the suspended officer, Maruti Hari Sawant. A 1998 batch officer, Sawant was the Director General Maharashtra Council for Agriculture Education and Research when he was booked in March 2015 under Sections 376, 354 (B), 506 of the IPC and sections 4,6,8 and 10 of the POCSO Act, 2012; Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities Act 1989 and several sections of the IT Act, at the Sinhagad police station.He was suspended from services after his arrest. At the time of the crime, Sawant lived with his family in Patrakar Nagar. He also owned a house in the Hingne Khurd area which he visited every week for a few days. The mother of one of the victims worked as a maid at this house. The girl sometimes accompanied her mother to the house where Sawant allegedly took the girl to another room, ostensibly to teach her computer skills. However, he allegedly showed her obscene videos and sexually assaulted her. The police told the court that Sawant used to lure girl students from a school close by into the basement of his house by offering snacks, chocolates and sexually assaulted them. Police had recovered liquor bottles from the house. They also seized the computer hard disc (HD), condom packets, and clothes of one of the victims from the house.Police said the incident had come to light when, during an annual counselling session on March 18, 2015, one of the girls talked about Sawant’s “inappropriate behaviour” . The counsellor made enquiries with other students and learnt that Sawant had sexually assaulted four girls. The counsellor then informed the school principal who in turn registered an FIR on March 19.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday transferred to Delhi all the FIRs registered against former BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma over her remarks on Prophet Muhammed and clubbed them with the one registered in the national capital.They will now be investigated by Delhi Police’s Intelligence Fusion and Strategic Operations (IFSO) unit, which is investigating the Delhi case. The court also gave Sharma protection from arrest till the investigation is completed in the matter.“Since this court has already taken cognisance of a serious threat to the life and liberty of the petitioner, and specific instances in relation thereto have be been cited in our previous order dated July 19, 2022, besides those contained the additional affidavit filed by the petitioner today, we direct that all the FIRs…be transferred and clubbed for the purpose of investigation by Delhi Police,” a bench of Justices Surya Kant and J B Pardiwala ordered.In its order dated July 19, the court had already granted Sharma protection from arrest, but she pointed out in a fresh application that more FIRs were registered against her. Granting the relief, the court added that Delhi Police should ensure that the first FIR, registered in Maharashtra, and the one registered by the IFSO unit are investigated together by clubbing the other FIRs with them.Counsel for the West Bengal government requested the apex court to set up a special investigation team to inquire into the matter, but the court said, “Since IFSO of Delhi Police appears to be a specialised agency, it shall be appreciated if all the FIRs are investigated by the said unit”. “The IFSO as a specialised investigating agency shall be at liberty to collect…any information any if so required for the purpose of reaching to a logical conclusion,” it added.The bench also rejected West Bengal’s request that the investigation be monitored by the court.The court said its directions “shall also extend to any other FIR/complaint which may be registered/entertained against the petitioner…in respect to the same subject matter…and in that event, the investigation of the FIR or complaint to be registered in future shall also stand transferred to the IFSO unit of Delhi Police for the purpose of investigation”.Though Sharma had requested the FIRs to be quashed, the apex court said she could approach the Delhi High Court for the purpose.On July 1, while refusing to entertain her plea to club the FIRs registered against her in different states with the one in Delhi, the same Supreme Court bench came down heavily on the suspended BJP spokesperson, saying she had a “loose tongue” and was “single-handedly responsible for what is happening in the country”, including the murder of a tailor in Udaipur for allegedly sharing her remarks.
The Pune police on Tuesday arrested a 60-year-old retired defence employee wanted in Punjab for allegedly posing as an Army colonel and cheating youths after promising them Army jobs.The action by Unit 4 of the Pune city crime branch was based on an input given by the Army’s Military Intelligence, said police officials. The suspect, identified as Sanjay Raghunath Sawant, had worked as a tradesman with a defence formation at Dehu Road in Pune, Maharashtra, in the past and retired two years ago. He lives in the Pimple Gurav area and drives an autorickshaw to earn a living, they added.The Pathankot police in Punjab are investigating a 2021 case in which several Army job aspirants were cheated out of large sums of money by a man posing as a colonel.According to crime branch officials, after they received information from the Military Intelligence that the suspect was in Pune, a team led by inspector Jayant Rajurkar from Unit 4 launched an inquiry. The officials said it came to light that the suspect had worked as a tradesman–a civilian defence employee– at a defence unit in Dehu Road and drove an autorickshaw now. In the course of the investigation, police checked around 200 autorickshaws in the area and finally got leads on Sawant.In a joint action with the Pathankot police and Military Intelligence sleuths, the Pune police arrested Sawant. He has been handed over to the Pathankot police for further investigation. In 2021, Sawant is alleged to have spent some time in the Pathankot area after his retirement and cheated the Army job aspirants out of money.
MUMBAI: An elderly realtor was duped of Rs 2.4 lakh by a cyberfraudster who led him to believe that the power supply in his plush south Mumbai apartment was going to get disconnected. Fraudulent transactions were made in three of his bank accounts, Colaba police said. An FIR has been registered. The 62-year-old complainant lives in Colaba. On August 8, he was at home when he received a text that the power supply would be disconnected at his residence at 9.30pm. The sender's phone number was mentioned in the text. When the complainant dialled the number, the man on the other end inquired the purpose of the call. The complainant explained that he did not want the power supply to get disconnected. At this, the man assured help and asked him to download an app called ‘Any Desk’ and make a payment of a mere Rs 10. The complainant was not aware that ‘Any Desk’ would provide the fraudster with remote access to his phone screen. “The complainant filled up details from three banks, including credit card numbers. Soon after, a sum of Rs 2.44 lakh was deducted in five installments,” said a police officer. The realtor realised he had been duped when he received text messages from his banks about the transactions. He disconnected the call and approached the police to lodge a complaint
A family of four, including two children, were killed and three others sustained injuries after the car they were travelling in rammed the median on the national highway in Telangana’s Nizamabad district early Wednesday, said the police. According to the police, the accident took place at around 6.30 am in Kothapalli village when the family from Tolichowki in Hyderabad was travelling to Maharashtra. They said the driver lost control of the wheel and rammed the median due to over-speeding.While four members of the family died on the spot, three others, all children, were admitted to a nearby hospital by the police.Mupkal sub-inspector of police Prabhakar Reddy told indianexpress.com the man, his wife, and children left Hyderabad in their Maruti Swift after midnight.“We suspect overspeeding caused the accident. They wanted the man to take a break as he was driving for long hours but he continued. We suspect he was sleepy and lost control of the car. The car hit the median and rolled over to the opposite side and hit the railings. Four including two children, three to four months old, died on the spot,” said Reddy.The police are yet to gather more details of the victims and are awaiting other family members to reach the hospital. “The three others who sustained injuries are stable now,” added Reddy.
The family of a Pune-based Right to Information (RTI) activist Bhagwan Nivdekar allegedly faced a social boycott at his native place in Maharashtra’s Ratnagiri district for not following the tradition of inviting the village deity for his daughter’s marriage.Though Nivdekar complained about the alleged social boycott at the Lanja police station in Ratnagiri on July 25, it was only after members of the Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti (MANS), founded by slain anti-superstition activist Dr Narendra Dabholkar, went to the station on August 8 that the police took action, he said. The police called up the villagers who allegedly imposed the social boycott on Nivdekar’s family and warned them.A native of Beni Khurd village in Lanja taluka of Ratnagiri, Nivdekar resides at Pashan and works at the water supply department of Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC). He said his daughter got married to a man from Himachal Pradesh at a function held in Pune on May 1. He added he had invited his family members, relatives and friends from his native village and other places for the ceremony. “On June 15, members of the ‘Gavkar’ family, who heads important religious ceremonies in our village, called a meeting and put forth a resolution for socially boycotting me and my family from all religious rituals in our community because I had not followed the tradition of inviting the local deity for my daughter’s marriage,” said Nivdekar, who has been felicitated by the government bodies like Yashwantrao Chavan Academy of Development Administration (YASHADA) for his work. “On June 16, my mother Yamunabai, who resides in the village, got to know about the social boycott, got worried and informed me about it. On June 20, I spoke over the phone to one of the community members present for the meeting in which it was decided to boycott my family from religious rituals,” he added.Nivdekar said he realised this was a serious issue and trouble was caused to his family in the ‘jaat panchayat’ style. “I gathered information about how legal action can be taken. I lodged a police complaint seeking action as per the provisions of the Maharashtra Protection of People from Social Boycott (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2016. I also submitted an audio recording of the phone call, as evidence to show how we were boycotted,” he said.As Nivdekar sought help from it, a MANS team headed by its state committee member Nandini Jadhav went to the Lanja police station. “The police had not taken any action on Nivdekar’s complaint. We spoke to the senior inspector Dadasaheb Ghutukade, who immediately asked his subordinates to take action,” said Jadhav.“The police called up three people, namely Yashwant Nivdekar, Chandrakant Nivdekar and Shantaram Nivdekar, who were allegedly involved in the social boycott of the family. The MANS activists counselled them by explaining to them how social boycott is an offence as per the law. The police also warned them and took their written statement that they would repeat such an act,” added Jadhav.