The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Importance of being Todi
- Police heads roll, businessman untouched
ON PAUSE The 21-daycandlelightvigil outside
St Xavier’sCollege cameto an end on Thursday night with a thanksgiving to Calcuttans and an assurance that the candles will be lit again at the non-political platform at the first sign of injustice

Calcutta, Oct. 18: Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee has vowed not to meet Ashok Todi but his police force cannot escape the responsibility of knocking on the businessman’s doors if it plays by the book.

Five heads have rolled in Calcutta police in the Rizwanur Rahman case and the political leadership is nursing a black eye but Todi — who started it all — has remained untouched so far.

Available evidence suggests Priyanka’s father had misled law-enforcers more than once. The businessman had filed false complaints that said his daughter was missing, she was abducted by Rizwanur and he had stolen valuables.

But the city police have not acted against Todi despite knowing that the complaints were not true.

The new police commissioner, Gautam Mohan Chakrabarti, was not certain whether his force could initiate action against Todi. “The two probes — judicial and CBI — are going on side by side and I don’t think it is possible now to reopen the case. Let me see,” Chakrabarti said.

Asked whether a case can be filed against Todi for misrepresentation of facts, Chakrabarti said: “I cannot answer that question.”

The chief minister had yesterday referred to the businessman, saying: “I don’t know Ashok Todi, I haven’t met him, nor will I meet him.” But jurists said the police have enough room to launch a case against Todi for misleading them.

“The judicial commission and the CBI are probing whether Rizwanur’s death was suicide, murder or accident,” said jurist Gitanath Ganguly. “So the police cannot start a case on this matter. But they can easily start a case against Todi for misleading the police by filing false complaints as this amounts to abuse of the process of the law.”

Agreed lawyer Jayanta Narayan Chatterjee: “The police can always start a case against Todi for misleading them and filing false complaints under Section 211 of the IPC. The purview of the judicial commission as well as the CBI probe is different.”

Section 211 carries imprisonment of up to two years.

Police sources said they have evidence against Todi to start a case, which means without a directive from the top they will not act.

On August 31, Todi had gone to Rizwanur’s house at 7B Tiljala Lane after Priyanka informed him of their marriage. Priyanka told Todi she was legally married to Rizwanur and refused to go home. Todi tried to change the couple’s mind — he allegedly offered money to Rizwanur — but left in the morning.

Despite spending many hours at Rizwanur’s home with his daughter and being told that she was willingly staying there, Todi filed a missing complaint with the police.

Another complaint followed, accusing Rizwanur of kidnapping his daughter and taking away her jewellery.

It was on the basis of this complaint that the then deputy commissioner of the detective department, Ajoy Kumar, threatened to arrest Rizwanur unless he sent Priyanka back to her parents.

“This amounts to deliberately giving false information to the police and this is punishable under law,” Ganguly said.

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