An admission by the Delhi Police on Tuesday before the High Court that it has found no evidence against the eight people that it had previously charged with the murder of a police constable has raised serious questions regarding its handling and investigation of the case, say lawyers.
The High Court is hearing a petition by advocate Somnath Bharti that has sought the quashing of the FIR against the eight accused on the grounds that they have been falsely implicated by the Delhi Police for offences during the public protests that erupted after the Delhi gangrape.
While the murder charge against the eight accused will be dropped, they will continue to face charges of rioting and destruction of public property, the Delhi Police said.
Reacting to the Delhi Police’s disclosure, Bharti said, “I am deeply concerned. Section 302 (murder) is not a joke. These are young people who have their futures ahead of them. They are in their 20s. After three months, the police has taken a U-turn.”
Constable Subhash Tomar’s death, the Delhi Police had earlier insisted, was a consequence of injuries inflicted by protestors. Tomar had collapsed while he was on duty at India Gate on 23 December, where he had been deployed to maintain order in the wake of public protests against the brutal gangrape of a 23-year-old paramedical student a week earlier. He died two days later (on 25 December) at RML hospital. Following his death, eight people who had been charged by the police with offences including attempt to murder, were charged with murder.
While eye-witnesses claimed that Tomar had collapsed on his own, the post-mortem report suggested that he had suffered from a cardiac arrest precipitated by injuries to his neck and chest. Incidentally, RML hospital’s medical superintendent had said that Tomar had no major external injuries when he was brought to the hospital.
The High Court is also hearing a petition by advocate Gaurav Bansal in connection with constable’s death. Bansal has sought a CBI enquiry in the light of the contradictions that have emerged from the investigations so far.
Reacting to the Delhi Police’s latest admission, Bansal said, “The Delhi police seems to be playing politics with their own personnel. This is morally and legally unacceptable. The important question now is how then did Tomar die. The earlier theory was he died after he was attacked by protestors. But what is the Delhi Police’s theory now? This is serious and must be answered.”
Bharti is also pressing for action against the Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar for the “unconstitutional/illegal act of arresting eight innocent youth” and compensation for the youth for ‘character
Asked if there was precedence or basis for legal action against the police for falsely charging a person, Bharti said: “There is a provision in the law that anybody who falsely accuses somebody and criminal prosecution is started against them, there is scope for such a person to be tried in the court of law.”
The next hearing of the case will be on 20 March.
Updated Date: Mar 13, 2013 18:41:40 IST