The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Pin-up cop faces tough law
A poster of Ab Tak Chhappan, the film based on Nayak. (AFP)

Mumbai, March 8: A special court today urged Mumbai’s police commissioner to see if a stringent anti-gangland activities law can be invoked against police pin-up boy and encounter specialist Daya Nayak, now in the dock over his alleged underworld links.

Special court judge A.P. Bhangale today referred the case against Nayak to commissioner A.. Roy, asking him if sections of the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act can be invoked against the cop. Under Section 23(2) of the anti-crime act, no court can take cognisance of the offence unless prior sanction has been obtained from officers of the rank of additional director-general of police and above.

If Roy thinks the case can be tried under the organised crime legislation, the police officer would have some serious explaining to do over his alleged underworld links. Former journalist Ketan Tirodkar has filed a case against Nayak, accusing him of being hand-in-glove with the underworld and even taking money from one don to kill associates of another under the garb of “police encounters”.

Nayak is the inspiration for movies like Ram Gopal Verma’s recently-released Ab Tak Chhappan, where Nana Patekar plays a trigger-happy encounter king.

Nayak has dismissed Tirodkar’s claims, saying he is working at the behest of don Chota Shakeel to damage the police force’s reputation and “to hinder them from doing their duty by involving them in long-drawn court cases’’.

Sources say the court move to lob the ball into Roy’s court comes after the deposition of former police commissioner R.S. Sharma and former deputy commissioner of police Pradip Sawant, who have been made witnesses in the case that hints at deep underworld-police links.

Sharma and Sawant are in jail for their role in the multi-crore stamp paper scam and have been arrested under the organised crime legislation themselves.

The special court has directed the police commissioner to file his report by April 12.

Tirodkar, who says he knows of the rot in the police force because he was himself an informer and accomplice of dons Shakeel and Dawood Ibrahim, today said he would reach Roy’s office tomorrow morning with all case papers. “I will present my case before the police chief and ask him why no action has been taken against Nayak though there have been three departmental inquiries against him,’’ the former journalist said.

Police recently raided Nayak’s house, even though assistant commissioner of police Shankar Kamble would not say what was found during the raids, and transferred the pin-up boy out of the influential crime branch.

The court later asked him to deposit his passport and barred him from leaving India without its permission.

It is not just his well-documented encounters that helped the cop shoot into prominence; his substantial clout in the Hindi film industry has also attracted attention. An inquiry was ordered against him in 2002 after he allegedly spent Rs 1 crore to open a school in Mangalore at a function attended by Amitabh Bachchan, among other Bollywood celebrities.

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