[Assault case against NCP Minister Jitendra Ahwad] Plea before Top Court challenges Bombay High Court's refusal to transfer investigation to CBI

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Anant Karmuse, a Civil engineer by profession, has approached the Top Court against the judgment of the Bombay High Court dismissing his plea seeking transfer of investigation in the kidnapping and assault case filed by him against Jitendra Awhad, a sitting Cabinet Minister, to the CBI.

The transfer to CBI has been sought on grounds to a fair and impartial investigation alleging that the people involved in the said FIR are the people in power and hold influential posts.

In the Special Leave Petition (SLP), Karmuse has argued that the entire investigation was conducted in sham manner by the State authorities and even after various letters and representations having been written by him highlighting the casual manner in which the entire investigation was conducted, nothing significant was done by the State except harassing and pressurizing him to take a step back.

Accordingly, Karmuse had approached the Bombay High Court seeking transfer to the CBI which is said to have been erroneously dismissed on the ground that the Police has taken sufficient steps as per the law and the investigation is fair and just.

Karmuse, had filed an FIR alleging that on April 5, 2020, some cops took him to Awhad’s bungalow, where he was beaten black and blue with bamboos, fibre sticks, belts and iron rods by NCP workers in the presence of two police constables and Awhad, for uploading on his Facebook account, a viral picture of Awhad, criticizing his act of ridiculing the Prime Minister.

A case was later registered at the Vartak Nagar police station under Sections 365, 143, 144, 147, 148, 149, 324, and 506 (2) of the IPC against Awhad. Karmuse has further submitted that the names of Ahwad and his men were not included in the FIR.

"...the name of the prime accused Mr. Jitendra Awhad was added as accused 2 years after the said incident, inspite of being specifically named,...phone call recordings which were not taken into consideration by the Respondent No. 1 which clearly shows his presence at the time of the crime...", adds the SLP.

It is further submitted that on account of media outrage, the Police filed the chargesheet, but did not name Awhad as an accused.

The Police is also said to have deliberately omitted several material pieces of evidences and did not collect and preserve the CDRs and SDRs of the concerned persons. 

"The statement of Mr. Awhad was taken as witness and even after such serious allegations by the Petitioner upon him, the veracity of his statements was not collaborated with other evidences. There are sufficient evidences on record to show the full-fledged involvement of Mr. Jitendra Awhad and his security personnel and his goondas yet no action was taken by the Respondent No. 1 except a customary arrest and immediately thereafter bail was granted as the Police did not oppose the same....", adds the SLP.

Also, Karmuse has submitted that one Hemant Sudhakar Vani, a close aide of Ahwad had lodged an FIR under Sections 292 of the IPC and u/s 66(E) of the Information and Technology Act against him with the sole purpose to pressurize him to withdraw his compliant.

Case Title: Anant Thanur Karmuse vs. State of Maharashtra and Ors