Delhi Police record dead man’s statement!

March 30th, 2008 - 4:38 pm ICT by admin  

By Ritu Sharma
New Delhi, March 30 (IANS) Ever heard of a dead person’s statement being recorded? Well, that’s exactly what Delhi Police did to solve an accident case! Eager to show that they were on top of things, police cited in court a statement of Sheikh Azibul Khan that was curiously recorded a year after he died in the accident.

Khan was on his way to office Nov 15, 1989 when a vehicle hit his cycle in Delhi. Khan sustained head injuries and Virender Dutt, a passer-by, rushed Khan to Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital. Khan, however, died Dec 12, 1989.

But police charged Dutt for hitting Khan with the ambassador car he was driving.

The police accused Dutt for the nearly two-decade-old accident on the basis of the dead man’s statement.

Dutt was booked under Indian Penal Code’s Section 279 (rash driving or riding on a public way) and Section 304 (Culpable Homicide not amounting to murder).

The probe took nearly five years to complete and the case could come up for trial in the Patiala House Court only in 1995.

Pleading his innocence, Dutt contended: “On the day of the accident, two Russian engineers were travelling in my car and on their insistence I stopped the car and had taken the injured to the hospital.”

However, the Delhi Police left nothing to chance and recorded statements of 17 witnesses to take the case to its “logical conclusion”.

While some witnesses did not identify Dutt as the driver of the “killer vehicle”, others said they did not note the vehicle’s registration number.

What really took the fizz out of the prosecution case was Khan’s statement recorded by the investigating officer (IO) Nov 20, 1990, nearly one year after his death.

Taking strong note of it, Metropolitan Magistrate Kuldeep Narayan pulled up police for its shoddy investigation and acquitted Dutt in February.

“It is crystal clear that the IO had done a pathetic investigation in the present case and the submissions of counsel for the accused that one of the witness was planted to falsely implicate him gains strength,” the court observed while absolving Dutt of all the charges.

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