Days after Commissioner of Police Rakesh Maria initiated a high-level inquiry into the missing documents related to the Salman Khan hit-and-run case, a team comprising an assistant commissioner of police, two inspectors and four constables managed to recover these documents from Bandra police station itself.
Salman Khan outside the sessions court in May. File pic
The documents comprised statements of two of the witnesses, and the case diary. The mysterious disappearance of these papers had sent the entire police department into a tizzy for over a month. The entire department was subjected to heavy criticism from the media over the misplacement of such vital documents.
“It was my priority to trace the papers, since I had taken charge of this zone. Earlier, there was only one officer assigned to locate the documents. But, I assigned two inspectors and four constables, and their work was monitored by an assistant commissioner of police,” said DCP Satyanarayan Chaudhary, who took charge of the zone on August 4.
Chaudhary formed the team on August 11; after 15 days of rigorous searching, it traced the missing documents to one of the rooms at Bandra police station. “We worked round-the-clock to trace the papers. Even on Sundays, the team went to court and browsed through the record rooms to locate the missing files,” said one of the team members.
How they worked
Explaining their approach, another team member said they began their search by contacting all those who had handled the original papers since the time the case was registered, followed by public prosecutors. Almost six clerks, assigned to dispatch the case papers to the court since 2002, were questioned.
“Finally, one of the team members found the papers today (Tuesday) morning, in one of the inspector’s room at the Bandra police station,” he told this paper. A police official from the Bandra police station claimed that the case papers must have been shifted from the record room to the inspector’s cabin during renovation.
The news about the missing documents first went public after the Bandra police informed the sessions court that statements of two witnesses were missing, due to which the court adjourned the June 25 hearing to July 25. Later, on August 21, the police again informed the court that the case diary was also missing, after which the defence lawyer said the case would not proceed in the absence of original papers.