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Probe officer recommended ‘major punishment’ against Sector 3 SHO Prakash

However,DIG reduced it to a mere censure notice.

Written by RAGHAV OHRI | Chennai | Published: May 21, 2013 2:27:07 am

Holding Shri Prakash responsible for “gross negligence” for his conduct in the incident involving death of a 33- year-old woman who was left to die on the road,the inquiry officer had concluded that a “departmental enquiry” for “major punishment” be initiated against the Sector 3 SHO.

However,thanks to a senior officer,Prakash was let off the hook. The indictment was reduced to a mere censure notice by Deputy Inspector General of Police Alok Kumar.

This has emerged from the inquiry report prepared by the Chandigarh Police in the case involving death of Sharmila Gupta who was crushed under a CTU bus on May 7. While in his inquiry report,SSP (IRB) Arun Kampani held Prakash grossly negligent,the DIG let Prakash off with just a show-cause notice. Significantly,no reason has been given by the DIG in turning down Kampani’s recommendation against the SHO.

In his detailed report,Kampani had recommended “major punishment” against Prakash which could result in dismissal from service. The same was recommended against all the seven police officials,including Prakash,by the inquiry officer. Surprisingly,the DIG agreed to proceed with the recommendation against the remaining six officials excluding Prakash.

All the other six have been transferred to the Police Lines for training. The six include an Assistant Sub-Inspector and three women constables. The inquiry report indicts Prakash and other six police officials for not taking Sharmila to hospital for over 40 minutes.

Consider this: a call to the Police Control Room (PCR) vehicle was made at 2.21 pm. Sharmila,who according to the police was dead,was taken to the hospital at 3 pm. The inquiry officer has questioned the delay made in taking the 33-year-old to the hospital.

Despite repeated attempts,DIG Alok Kumar did not respond to calls as well as SMSes.

Allegations against Prakash were that he reached the spot two hours late as Sharmila lay bleeding on the road. It was alleged by the eyewitnesses that those standing near by were not allowed to take her to a hospital,which was a few yards away.

Meanwhile,in the Punjab and Haryana High Court,the Chandigarh Police on Monday sought to seek refuge in the statement of an eyewitnesses which did not mention this accusation. “The allegations are only in the newspapers,not in the statement of the eyewitness,” argued the counsel appearing for the Chandigarh Police.

Speaking for the division bench,acting Chief Justice Jasbir Singh remarked,“We had issued notices (to the police) on the basis of newspaper reports.” Earlier this month,the High Court had taken suo motu notice of newspaper reports highlighting the gross negligence on the part of Chandigarh Police in reaching the spot and not taking the 33-year-old to a hospital.

The Bench asked the counsel what action had been taken against the erring officials. “What action have you taken? Just a warning?” the Bench remarked. To this,the lawyer replied that major punishment had been recommended.

Significantly,a copy of the inquiry report was not placed on record in the High Court on Monday.

Highlighting public concern after the said incident,the Bench then observed that “people are afraid to take people to hospital”. To ensure that such unfortunate incidents do not recur,the Bench asked the Chandigarh Administration whether a policy in this regard had been prepared.

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