Court pulls up police for shoddy probe of road accidents

March 8th, 2008 - 7:34 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, March 8 (IANS) The Delhi High Court pulled up the police this week for not investigating cases of road accidents properly even as it acquitted a truck driver booked for rash and negligent driving. A motorcycle rider had died in the accident. “In cases of road accidents, particularly those which result in fatalities, the investigation should be carried out in a swift and scientific manner,” said Justice B.D. Ahmed in his order this week while acquitting a man whom a trial court had held guilty of rash and negligent driving.

The court also pulled up the investigating officer for not providing to the court maps of roads drawn to scale so that accurate site plans could be produced in evidence.

“The observations with regard to the length of the tyre skid marks of the vehicles involved in the impact go a long way in indicating the speeds at which the vehicles were travelling. This would enable the courts to examine the evidence in a much more objective manner and the courts would not be faced with vague and subjective expressions such as ‘high speed’,” the judge said in his order.

The ruling came in wake of a revision petition filed by Abdul Subhan, who was sentenced to a year in jail by a metropolitan magistrate for rash and negligent driving.

According to the prosecution, on Oct 23, 1995 Abdul was driving a truck that hit a motorcycle and caused fatal injuries to Gajendra Singh, who succumbed soon after.

Sufian Siddiqui, counsel for Abdul, submitted before the court that a vehicle being driven at high speed does not necessarily mean that the driver was being rash or negligent.

The prosecution failed to establish that Abdul was driving at high speed and he was acquitted of all charges.

“Proper investigation of such accidents would go a long way in aiding the criminal justice system in convicting those who are guilty and acquitting those who are innocent.

“A shoddy investigation will point only in one direction because no criminal court would convict any person merely on the basis of conjectures, assumptions and probability,” the judge wrote in his order.

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