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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Cops draw HC’s ire: Is police station a Mughal durbar?

Mumbai: The Bombay high court on Tuesday came to the aid of a family settled in the US whose property in Juhu worth Rs 32 crore was targeted by alleged land grabbers. 

    A division bench of Justice S C Dharmadhikari and Justice Gautam Patel rapped the Juhu police for their failure to investigate the family's complaints properly and take action. "Is the (police station) like a Mughal durbar where people have to come repeatedly with their complaints," asked the judges. "The police do not take timely action, as a result of which people are forced to come to the courts." 
    The high court has asked the police to record the statement of Pune-based com
plainant Rajeshree Shrivastava. Shrivastava's brother Rajan Patel owns the Juhu property along with his family members. The court has also directed the police to probe allegations of forgery and file a chargesheet accordingly after completing investigations. 
    Darshan Bungalow is a ground-plus-one-storey structure spread over 6,480 sq ft 
in a layout known as Hatkesh Society in Juhu. It is owned by US-based Patel and his family. According to advocate Tripti Shetty, the property, due to its prime location, has been repeatedly targeted by builders who tried to grab it in 2008 and 2011. Each time the police registered a case of trespass. 
    The latest incident happened in 2012, when four 
persons broke into the property and tried to put up a board claiming that the land belongs to 'Stature Lifestyle'. Shrivastava lodged a complaint and the police booked the accused for trespass. At the time of bail, the accused produced documents purporting to show that a member of Patel's family had gifted the property for free to their servant Samarbahadur Singh, who passed it on for redevelopment to Stature Lifestyle. 
    "We brought this to the notice of the police and asked them to add the charge of forgery," said the advocate. But the police failed to take any action. The Patels also discovered that an attempt was made to change the name on the electricity bill for the property. 

BEHIND THE CRITICISM 

    A ground-plus-one structure, called Darshan Bungalow, in a Juhu layout has been targeted many times by alleged land grabbers, according to the family that owns it. After each land grab attempt, cops just registered a case of trespass 

    The latest bid happened in 2012, when four persons tried to put up a board at the property claiming that it belonged to 'Stature Lifestyle'. The four claimed that a member of the owner family had gifted the property to their servant who passed it on for redevelopment

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