The advocate general (AG), Subodh Kantak, informed the high court of Bombay at Goa that the state government had written to the central government requesting it to authorize the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to take over the alleged drug mafia-police nexus cases registered by the crime branch against suspended PSI Sunil Gudlar and alleged Israeli drug dealer Atala.
The statement was made during the hearing of a petition filed by Sunil Kawthankar, president of the National Students Union of India (NSUI). The petitioner sought a direction from the court to the state crime branch to hand over the investigation into the four cases of the drug mafia-police nexus to the CBI for further investigation.
The crime branch is investigating cases against alleged Israeli drug dealers Atala and Dudu, suspended anti-narcotics cell (ANC) PSI Sunil Gudlar and former ANC PI Ashish Shirodkar.
The AG told the court that the crime branch had sent a letter to the central government asking for authorization to the CBI to take over the Gudlar and Atala cases. In the Dudu case, a chargesheet had already been filed by the police and hence it need not be handed over, the AG pointed out.
The petitioner’s lawyer, senior counsel Surendra Dessai, sought admission of the petition and prayed that the cases be monitored by the high court for ensuring impartial investigation by the CBI.
At this point, the AG opposed Dessai’s plea and said that the hearing of the petition be adjourned until a formal letter is received from the central government in response to the letter sent by the state.
Subsequently, a division bench comprising Justice S B Deshmukh and Justice F M Reis adjourned the hearing to March 10 and directed the government to place a copy of the Centre’s reply before it on the next date of hearing.
The CBI had on February 14 filed an affidavit before the high court and pointed out that that the case against Shirodkar did not fall within its jurisdiction. It had also stated that the state government had not issued any authorization as required under the provisions of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946, for the CBI to take over the investigation in other cases.