Fourteen years after eight Delhi Vidyut Board (DVB) officials were charged with causing the death of a 10-year-old, a city court last week gave them a clean chit. The court cast aspersions on the investigating officer (IO) for destroying evidence in the case. The court has asked the DCP (East) to take “appropriate action” against the IO.
In June 1999, 10-year-old Sonu fell into a ditch while playing near a construction site. The pit was close to a switch board and Sonu was electrocuted. After a PCR call was made and the electricity line disconnected, Sonu was rushed to a hospital, where he was declared dead on arrival. After his death, an FIR was registered against DVB officials and they were asked to fix responsibility in the case. The responsibility was attributed to subordinate staff in charge of maintaining the transformers and service pillars in the area.
Sonu’s father, who had registered the FIR, died during the trial.
Residents of the area deposed that they had time and again complained about loose electricity wires and lack of maintenance of feeder pillars, but no action had been taken.
However, Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sonu Agnihotri on February 12 acquitted eight persons on grounds that the prosecution had failed to prove the case.
Magistrate Agnihotri observed that the manner in which the site plan was prepared and photographs of the spot were taken, no evidence of any live wire passing through the pit could be gathered.
“The pit in question having been filled before inspection by staff of electrical inspector clearly brings out efforts on part of unknown persons to destroy evidence. But one thing becomes clear that IO helped in getting evidence destroyed,” Magistrate Agnihotri held while directing the DCP to initiate proceedings against the IO.