January 24, 2012

Free medicine scheme may set off doctor-patient clashes

The district and sessions court on Tuesday remarked that the city police defiantly and deliberately avoided to comply with its order to arrest two senior government officials, including an IAS, and a businessman involved in the controversial Jal Mahal development project.

The court of additional chief judicial magistrate (number-4) Suresh Bhatt on Thursday directed the station house officer of Brahmpuri police station to explain why he should not be prosecuted for "defiantly" submitting a false report in the court. The police officer has been asked to be present in court on October 20.

Last month, the court directed the city police to arrest senior IAS Vinod Zutshi, RAS Hirdesh Kumar Sharma, one Rakesh Saini and businessman Navratan Kothari for allegedly conspiring to illegally lease 100 acres of government prime land near the historical Jal Mahal Lake for a throw away price. The Brahmpuri police, which received the arrest warrants on September 14, was granted time till October 24 to nab the accused.

Kotharias company Jal Mahal Resorts Pvt Ltd was the beneficiary in the deal, while Zutshi, Sharma and Saini were involved in it as office-bearers of the Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation (RTDC),the government body owning the land,in 2005. Zutshi is presently serving as one of the deputy election commissioners with the Election Commission of India at New Delhi.

Bhagwat Gaur, a resident of the city, had filed a complaint in the court calling the deal illegal and accusing the foursome of a conspiracy.

Three of the accused, Zutshi, Sharma and Kothari,filed a revision petition to contest the arrest warrants issued against them. Their appeal is pending before another court. On the other hand, in its investigation progress report filed in the ACJM court-4 on September 30, the Brahmpuri police stated that it was unable to arrest the accused since they were out of Jaipur.

Complainant Gauras counsel Ajay Jain contested the police report and submitted news paper cuttings to prove that Kothari attended a public function in Jaipur on October 1 while RAS officer Sharma were regularly reporting to duty at his Jaipur office.

Taking a strong view against the police report, the ACJM court remarked that the police officer asdeliberately" ignored to arrest Kothari. "It appears that the SHO has committed offence under IPC sections 219 (filing false report in court) and 221 (not complying with court orders)," judge Bhatt noted in the order, seeking explanation from the police officer.

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