Mumbai: Vasant Dhoble
, who has over the last few weeks trended on Twitter and provoked protests and debate over raids on restaurants and bars, received some appreciation today. The Bombay High Court ruled that he's just doing his job, and also dismissed a defamation case against him.
Mr Dhoble is an Assistant Commissioner of the Mumbai police. He heads its Social Service branch.
He was taken to court by two women who he arrested for being prostitutes during one of his infamous raids. The women - sisters - say they were celebrating a birthday. Mr Dhoble had them arrested for a few hours. They sued him for a crore each.
But the court today said the detention is not illegal as they were taking into custody for investigation and that is in accordance with the law. Mumbai Police Commissioner Arup Patnaik too came out in defence of Mr Dhoble. Mr Patnaik told NDTV, "He is an officer of impeccable integrity. There are very few officers about who I can make this kind of assertion. If he had not done these things, he could have made hundreds of crores in a place like Mumbai." (Watch what the Mumbai Police Commissioner said)
Mr Dhoble has been accused of implementing archaic laws. Armed often with a hockey stick, a camera, or both, he bursts into restaurants and bars and terrorizes staff and patrons. He has said he has no intention of ruining Mumbai's famed cosmopolitan night-life. "Let them enjoy...we are only implementing the law," he said to NDTV last week.
Others aren't convinced. A Pune entrepreneur named Tehseen Poonawalla, has asked the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to investigate whether Mr Dhoble is guilty of "physical and mental atrocities." (Read
Mr Dhoble has in the past been suspended from the police force for his alleged role in the death of a man who was in custody.