Court reserves verdict on pleas on Delhi Police constable's death
The Delhi High Court Wednesday reserved its verdict on two separate petitions seeking a CBI probe into the death of a constable who collapsed while controlling anti-rape protests here last year and quashing of FIR registered against eight youth for his death.
Justice G P Mittal reserved the order after all the parties in the case concluded their arguments.
The Delhi Police had earlier given a clean chit to eight people booked in constable Subhash Tomar's death during the anti-rape protests here in December last year but said that they were involved in destruction of public property near India Gate.
During the hearing, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Siddharth Luthra, appearing for Delhi Police, opposed the plea seeking quashing of FIRs and a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe in the death of Tomar.
"So far as the petition of eight accused seeking quashing of the FIR is concerned, this court should not quash the FIR just for the sake of quashing as the FIR, besides the unfortunate death of constable Tomar, also relates to destruction of public properties, stopping public servants from performing their duties and breach of (prohibitory) order passed under section 144 of CrPC," he contended.
Luthra also showed Justice Mittal the video footage of protests at India Gate on Dec 23 and said the plea for quashing of the FIR was premature as 49 policemen and 69 others (protesters) got injured in the incident, property was destroyed and the accused cannot decide the course of probe.
Advocate Somnath Bharti, appearing for eight youth, during the arguments said that the "manner in which the murder charge was first slapped against the youth and then dropped speaks volume about the way investigation has been conducted by Delhi Police".
He also played a video footage in the courtroom in which Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar claimed that the eight youths were picked from the spot where constable Tomar collapsed.
Police had booked eight youths - Kailash and Amit Joshi, Shantanu Kumar, Nafees, Shankar Bisht, Nand Kumar, Abhishek and Chaman Kumar under section 302 (murder) of the IPC after Tomar had died on Dec 25, 2012 at RML hospital.
On the other hand, advocate Gaurav Kumar Bansal, seeking CBI probe in the case, alleged that there were contradictions in the versions of police, witnesses and doctors.
He said the police commissioner's statement was contradictory to the version of two witnesses - Yogendra and Pauline - and the medical superintendent of Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, where Tomar was admitted and later died.
Police had earlier said that Tomar was assaulted and trampled upon by the crowd at India Gate. However, two witnesses said that he collapsed while chasing the crowd and that he was not beaten or trampled by the protestors, he added.