A screening committee comprising bureaucrats and judicial officers has struck down a recommendation by the Delhi Police for awarding meritorious services medals to two Special Cell officers. These officers were allegedly involved in implicating two Kashmiri men in the planning of a 26/11 type attack in Delhi.
The two Kashmiri men were recently acquitted by a city court, which in its judgment said “the possibility of implicating the accused in the… case cannot be ruled out”.
Among the names recommended by the Delhi Police for gallantry, meritorious and distinguished service awards this year are the names of the two Special Cell inspectors — Lalit Mohan Negi and Hridaya Bhushan.
The then ACP Sanjeev Kumar Yadav was awarded the President’s Medal for gallantry in 2010.
The case for which the medals were denied to the two policemen dates back to 2009. The Special Cell had arrested two men, identified as Javed Ahmad Tantray and Ashiq Ali Bhatt, from Daryaganj in Central Delhi.
The Special Cell said a large cache of arms had been recovered from the boot of the car the two men were travelling in. They were charged with planning suicide attacks in the city ahead of the Independence Day celebrations.
The case against the two men, however, completely collapsed in the court.
According to the prosecution’s case,the duo drove to Delhi from Jammu in a stolen Santro. They were on a special assignment to carry out suicide attacks in crowded places in Delhi.
The defence, however, claimed that the stolen Santro was planted by police. Toll receipts revealed that the car was driven from Delhi to Jammu on the morning of August 6, 2009.
“It is the police who took the vehicle to Jammu in the morning and brought it back to Delhi in the evening,” the defence submitted to the court.
The judge while acquitting the duo in September last year had also said that “it was a clear-cut plant case by the Special Cell officers to get out-of-turn promotion”.
“This particular acquittal order was brought to the notice of the committee. The court had passed strict observations against the investigations by the Special Cell. These two officers were an integral part of the investigation,” a senior officer said.
The Special Cell had also attempted to appeal against the acquittal of the two men but it did not get a nod from the legal department.