When a former second secretary of the Embassy of Kazakhstan did not turn up for his court hearing in a 2015 case, related to him being allegedy hit by a Honda City in Vasant Vihar, a Delhi court acquitted the accused by noting that “the FIR is not a substantive piece of evidence. It is a corroborative piece of evidence and the same can be corroborated only by its maker”.
Pronouncing the judgment, Metropolitan Magistrate Sumeet Anand said, “Except for the complainant, there are no other eyewitnesses to the incident. Hence, crucial facts, such as whether the accused was driving the offending vehicle in a rash or negligent manner, is not established in the case… these are crucial foundations to make out a case under IPC sections 279 (rash driving) and 337 (causing hurt) for which the accused has faced trial.”
The incident from May 12, 2015, took place at 11.30 am near Vasant Vihar. As per court records, the accused, who was allegedly driving a Honda City in a rash manner, hit the car of Serikbossynuly Azat, a Kazakh national. “Thereafter, in order to escape from the spot, he hit the complainant with his car while retreating,” the court document read.
The judge noted: “It is the fundamental right of accused as well, as enumerated in Hussainra Khatoon’s judgment, that criminal trial should be completed at the earliest.”
Following the incident, the complainant gave a written statement to police and the accused was arrested. He was later released on bail. After the chargesheet was filed, the complainant was summoned to appear before the court on July 12, 2018, and September 17, 2018, through the DCP.
The DCP concerned was asked to prepare a report stating whether the complainant was still working in the Kazakhstan Embassy in India. The summons were later issued through the Ministry of External Affairs, and on May 1, 2019, the embassy informed that the summons will be issued to Azat. However, when Azat did not turn up for the court hearing, he was dropped from an array of witnesses.
The police then had to rely on police witnesses, who only dealt with the investigation but had not witnessed the alleged incident. “All other witnesses who have been dropped from the array of witnesses, such as the doctor who prepared the MLC of the victim, the mechanical inspector, who … examined the vehicles involved in the alleged accident, and the superdar do not in any manner go on to prove, or even remotely suggest, that at the time of the accident the accused was driving the offending vehicle either in a rash or in negligent manner,” the judgment read.