A Delhi court has pulled up police,the crime investigation team and a police photographer for dereliction of duty in a murder case. The court acquitted the two men accused in the case.
The court of Additional Sessions Judge Sanjeev Kumar acquitted Surya Prakash and Praveen Beniwal,accused of murder,after the main witness turned hostile and changed his statement. The court also issued a showcause notice to key witness Manmeet Gulia,who changed his statement during the case and initiated perjury proceedings against him.
Police had accused Prakash and Beniwal of killing Batra after he had allegedly hit one of them at the DDA Market in Rohini Sector 17. The police had said that Prakash and Beniwal first abused Batra and then shot at him when the quarrel escalated. Batra was rushed to the nearby BSA Hospital,but was declared dead on arrival. The incident occurred on December 26,2010,and Prakash and Beniwal were arrested on the next day.
Gulia,the eyewitness,refuted his earlier statements regarding vital aspects such as the description of Prakash and Beniwal,their car and the manner in which Batra had been shot dead.
The court pointed out numerous errors in the investigation,noting that the police had failed to seize the car allegedly used by Prakash and Beniwal on the day of the incident. The court also said the photographs of the crime scene indicated that the police photographer was highly incompetent as he had failed to take any pictures that identified the crime scene.
The judge also said that the investigating officer (IO) as the crime team incharge appeared to be similarly incompetent since they had failed to ensure proper investigation,and had even failed to lift fingerprints from the car allegedly used by the accused.
The court also noted that various police officers had given contradictory statements,and the constable who was reported to have reached the crime scene first had left the injured man bleeding on the road for several minutes instead of taking him to the hospital.
The ASJ in his order has asked the Commissioner of Police to look into the investigation conducted and take necessary action against the erring police officials.