Mumbai police's elite crime branch has come under fire from a special court for its "biased" probe into the alleged sabotage of business tycoon Anil Ambani's helicopter.
In a 40-page judgment, special Judge M V Kulkarni, was critical of the police investigation and said "the entire investigation was biased and one sided to suit the management of Airworks Indian Engineering Ltd."
"The management has created a false case by tampering with the helicopter belonging to Anil Ambani and thereby created media sensation without actually damage being caused to the aircraft, which is evident from the report of the Director General of Civil Aviation," the judgment, which was made available to lawyers on Thursday, said.
The court had on November 30 acquitted two persons, who were employed as helpers with Airworks, due to lack of evidence, giving them the benefit of doubt.
Uday Wanekar (32) and Palraj Thevar (38) were accused of planting pebbles and gravels in the combined gear box of the Ambani-owned helicopter on April 23 last year while it was parked in the hanger of Airworks for maintenance.
The prosecution argued the duo had tried to sabotage the helicopter to cause wrongful loss and damage to Airworks following a dispute with the management. However, the court remarked "enmity is a double-edged weapon.
While the helpers had a motive to commit the mischief, it was also possible for the management to stage manage such an incident and use it as tool to terminate the services of the helpers."
The court also came down heavily on the police for not investigating into the death of Airworks technician Bharat Borge who was the first person to notice the pebbles and gravel. Four days after registration of the complaint, Borge died after coming under a local train.
"Borge was under tremendous mental pressure. He had even attempted to contact the investigating officer a day before his accident but the police did not consider it important. A note for the police was also found on Borge after his death but that note was not brought to court."
The case was registered at the local police station and later handed over to the Crime Branch whcih was being headed by the then Joint Commissioner Rakesh Maria.
He was later shifted to Anti-Terror Squad as Additional Director General. The two accused were booked under the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against Safety of Civil Aviation Act and under various sections of IPC.