Police launch manhunt for ex-GSPC chief Gupta

Vol 20, PW 11 (23 Feb 17) People & Policy

Wanted: former GSPC managing director Sanjay Gupta - fugitive from justice.

Sounds like the plot of a Hollywood detective comedy. Yet it appears the Gujarat crime branch has indeed launched a manhunt for Gupta after he made a dramatic escape last week from the Prayag hospital at Noida near Delhi where according to a police tip-off he was receiving treatment.

"Set up a crack team and go after Gupta," special court judge AI Sheikh ordered the crime branch director general Ashish Bhatia on February 21. Sheikh was enraged after Gupta failed to appear before the court.

Days earlier on February 18 his lawyer had assured Gupta's surrender. Sheikh complained that if the crime branch had taken adequate steps to inform the Delhi police, railway stations and airports, Gupta would not have escaped.

"You've locked the stable door after the horse has bolted!" he scolded the bungling crime branch, who in this case make the incompetent Inspector Clouseau from the Pink Panther movies look like a master of deduction. Expect the next hearing on February 28.

Last August, Gupta created a commotion when he demanded interest on the Rs1cr ($149,038) bail security he has deposited with the court. Then he stopped checking in with the police as is mandatory in these situations.

The first non-bailable warrant was issued against Gupta on October 4, 2016 after the Supreme Court canceled his bail on September 28, 2016.

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