CID's clean chit to Mirji in Ripon suicide case?

Stockbroker had levelled bribery charges against ex-police commissioner

The Criminal Investigation Department sleuths probing the suicide case of Pune-based stockbroker, Ripon Malhotra, have reportedly found “false and baseless,” Malhotra’s allegation that former City police commissioner B G Jyothiprakash Mirji and the then DCP (Crime) Devaraj demanded a bribe of Rs seven crore from him and thus compelled him to end life.

Malhotra, 54, was running the stock trading company, Ripon India Pvt Ltd, from Domlur for the last five years. He allegedly cheated his customers to the tune of Rs 80 crore.

The Economic and Crime Offences’ wing of the Pune police had booked him in 2007 for running a Ponzi scheme (a fraudulent investment operation that pays returns to its investors from their own money or that of the subsequent investors, rather than from profit earned by them).

Cases had been registered against Malhotra at the Whitefield and Electronics City police stations as well. Malhotra was found hanging at his Ejipura house on June 29.

P K Garg, Additional Director General of Police (Economic Offences), told Deccan Herald, “I formally submitted the final report to DGP (CID) Bipin Gopalakrishna on Tuesday. I have stated what the investigation has revealed and it is up to the DGP to accept or reject it.”

Regarding giving clean chit to Mirji and Devaraj in the report, Garg refused to divulge any details and said it would be improper on his part to reveal such details before the report is submitted to the government. The CID higher-ups are likely to accept the report and send to it the principal secretary (Home) in toto in a couple of days.

The CID investigation report says that there are no evidences whatsoever to justify that Mirji and Devaraj harassed Malhotra, leading to his suicide. Moreover, the investigation team has not found any evidence to justify his bribery charges.

The officers who probed the matter thoroughly have reportedly stated in the final report that the officers summoned the victim for routine questioning and there was provision in the law for the same, sources in the CID said.

The CID officers got in touch with friends and associates of Malhotra, those who were allegedly cheated by him, records available, CCTV footages, register of entries and exit of guests and others at the Commissioner’s office and the CCB office. The records and other statements indicated that he visited CCB office only once and did not meet Mirji.

Moreover, a few officers were present in Devaraj’s chamber when the interaction took place, said the sources.

The investigating officers concluded that Malhotra’s decision of committing suicide was aimed at ending all his financial constraints as there was no strong evidence that he was constantly harassed during the interrogation.

The CID officers reportedly felt that addressing a separate letter to the chief minister’s office could be the handiwork of insiders for gains and due to professional jealousy as a couple of officers wanted the position of DCP (crime), added the sources.

A senior officer of the CID said it is too early for the department to consider it as a final report as either some sections may be altered, changed or added. The CID officer said the CCB police had followed due procedure before and after his arrest.

Malhotra’s letter stated that “extortion tactics” by Mirji and Devaraj drove him to suicide. It bears his signature along with the time (11.50 am). It described Mirji and Devaraj as “recovery agents” and claims that they demanded Rs seven crore to hush the matter up.

“The (former) Commissioner behaved like a sub-inspector or a constable to recover just Rs six lakh and lacked manners while talking to women,” the letter added.

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