Just how powerful the state’s IAS and bureaucratic lobby is could be felt when all the officials arrested in the NMMC Bhise scam walked out of court on bail. While the Navi Mumbai Police was completely disappointed, there are speculations that since the others accused arrested in the case too are booked under the same sections, they too might just get out on bail soon. The much anticipated arrests of NMMC officials in the NMMC Bhise scam finally happened this week as former Dy. Municipal Commissioner of Encroachment Amrish Patnigire, Dy. Municipal Commissioner N N Alhat, Chief Accounts and Finance Officer Jaywant Dalvi, official from accounts department Prashant Kamble and Asst. Municipal Commissioner of Encroachment Dept. Diwakar Samel were arrested by the CBD Police after day long interrogations. However, all the officials evaded staying in the police custody literary as they got themselves admitted in their own Navi Mumbai Municipal Hospital under the pretext of ill health. The officials got this chance when they were taken for the health check up post their arrests by the CBD Police Station. The officials have been booked for crime under sections 420, 465, 467, 468, 471 and 218. The next day, the court sent all the five arrested officials to judicial custody. The Navi Mumbai Police was quite sure that when the application for bail would come up for hearing, the same would be rejected as the officials like all the others accused arrested in the scam were booked under Sector 471 but they were in for a shock or so it seemed. All the five officials were granted bail by the CBD Sessions court for sureties. The lawyer pointed out that since the officials were booked under section 467, they shouldn’t have got bail but they did. The complainant Sanjay Surve and NMMC Opposition Leader Ramakant Mhatre who exposed the Bhise scam said that it was a shock that a clerk of the Encroachment Dept. Rajesh Patil was still behind bar while officials who had signed the Bhise files were granted bail. It may be recalled that the Bhise files were cleared after signatures of senior most NMMC officials that included former Commissioner Madhukar Kokate and present Commissioner Vijay Nahata as well. Sanjay Surve blamed the Navi Mumbai police for the officials getting bail while Ramakant Mhatre said that they go to Thane Sessions court against the bail granted to the NMMC officials. On the other hand, the NMMC administration is still trying to figure out whether the officials were in judicial custody for more than 48 hours and if they were, all the five officials will be suspended from duty. And finally the man who has been leaving no stones unturned in getting to the bottom of the Bhise scam, SPI of CBD Police Station Ramesh Mohite said that they had given all the evidence but are yet to get a copy of the bail orders that will help them understand how the officials got bail. As news of the officials getting bail spread, relatives of the other accused reached the CBD Police Station demanding how the NMMC officials managed to get bail when all the accused arrested in the case have been booked under the same sections. SPI of CBD Police Station Ramesh Mohite confessed that the officials getting bails have opened doors for the other accused to follow suit. While the arrest of officials for dereliction of duty has definitely sent a strong message to the NMMC administration and its alleged corrupt ways, the manner in which the officials managed to get bail also reflects upon how powerful the IAS and bureaucratic of the state. And often it’s the same lobby that shows ways of corruption to their political colleagues. With Monika Bhosale, Zeba Warsia for NMTV News.
January 16, 2018
November 8, 2014