The Bombay High Court has stayed the criminal proceedings initiated against former additional municipal commissioner Suresh Kakani by a city magistrate.
Justice RG Avchat stayed the process on Monday while issuing a notice to the complainant. The HC has kept the matter for hearing on Feb 6.
The proceedings were initiated by the Mulund Magistrate in Nov 2022 on a complaint filed by one Ambar Koiri alleging that Mr Kakani had issued orders that discriminated between vaccinated and unvaccinated citizens during the Covid-19 pandemic. Mr Kakani retired in June 2022 and now works for a private firm.
The magistrate had also issued criminal proceedings against BMC commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal and former Chief Secretary Sitaram Kunte under relevant provisions of the Disaster Management Act.
On Nov 18, the HC had stayed criminal proceedings against Mr Chahal, observing that prima facie no offence was made out as alleged in the complaint. “Even if the averments in the complaint are considered at its face value, they do not constitute any offence,” the HC had said.
The complainant had contended before the magistrate that despite the order of the Home Secretary (Central government) that no restrictions will be imposed on interstate movement of persons, the state of Maharashtra had imposed restrictions on movement of persons in trains, malls, gym and other sports activities. Hence offence was made out against Mr Chahal, Mr Kakani and Mr Kunte.
The complainant alleged that all accused acted in conspiracy with each other and violated the fundamental rights of many citizens, including him. Hence it sought that action be initiated under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including cheating and criminal conspiracy, besides the Disaster Management Act.