Widow of 1997 Delhi shootout victim seeks Rs.2 crore damages

July 30th, 2010 - 9:22 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 30 (IANS) The widow of a businessman shot dead by the Delhi Police in a fake shootout in the capital’s Connaught Place central business district in 1997 Friday moved the Delhi High Court for damages of Rs.2 crore from the police.
Neema Goyal, the widow of Pradeep Goyal, contended before the court that the city police should be directed to pay the damages as her husband had lost his life because of an illegal act of its personnel. A trial court has sentenced 10 policemen to life imprisonment in the case, with the Delhi High Court confirming the verdict last September. Goyal’s business partner had also been killed in the March 31, 1997 shootout.

“It is a settled principle of law that if the compensation by way of monetary help is not provided to the dependents of the victim of police atrocities very promptly, then the very basis of the jurisprudence of grant of compensation will become futile,” advocate Anil Karnwal, appearing for Neema Goyal, said.

He contended that compensation should be paid immediately as 13 years have already passed and the victim cannot wait for the verdict of the Supreme Court, where the convicted policemen have appealed.

Justice Sanjiv Khanna of the high court, issued notice to the centre and the city police, asking them to respond by Sep 1, when the case would be taken up for further hearing.

A Delhi Police Crime Branch team led by “encounter” specialist S.S. Rathi, had on Mar 31, 1997, fired indiscriminately on the two victims while they were travelling in a car in Connaught Place, suspecting them to be wanted Uttar Pradesh-based gangsters.

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