Amid calls for action against widespread police brutality, a court here has ordered Delhi Police to lodge an FIR against its constable and others for allegedly throwing a man off the roof of a building and take action against those officials who tried to sabotage the probe.
The incident took place on June 14 in Burari area of north Delhi and the victim, Rajesh, a TSR driver, continues to be in critical stage in a trauma centre in a hospital near ISBT.
In a status report filed before the court, the police submitted that the allegations made by the complainant against constable Praveen, along with co-accused Prateek and Chotu, could not be substantiated during the inquiry conducted and therefore, no FIR was lodged.
Metropolitan Magistrate Pranav Joshi, however, expressed "utmost displeasure in the manner in which the complaint was dealt with by the police officials at PS Burari", and said that the present complaint did not come within the category of cases where preliminary inquiry was permissible.
"In violation of the law, a preliminary inquiry was conducted to verify the veracity of the allegations made in the complaint. The present complaint discloses commission of cognizable offence and thus, there was no scope of any inquiry."
"An FIR ought to have been registered as soon as the complaint was made by the complainant. What ought to have been done during the investigation, was actually done under the garb of inquiry," the court said.
It added that "the allegations levelled against the proposed accused persons are very serious in nature and demand an independent probe."
The court said the truth about the allegations of a cognizable offence can only be discovered during the investigation and thus proper course of action is to register an FIR as soon as a complaint is being made which, from the allegations, disclosed a cognizable offence.
"Accordingly, SHO PS Burari is directed to register an FIR against the accused persons immediately and without any delay," the judge said.
He further directed that "strict action should be taken against the erring officials. DCP concerned is requested to do the needful".
Further, it appears prima facie from the inquiry conducted and the course of action adopted in doing so that attempts were being made at police station (PS) Burari to sabotage an independent probe into a cognizable offence where allegations are also made against a police official serving at PS Burari.
"Accordingly, DCP concerned is requested to transfer the investigation to DIU (district administrative unit) and depute a responsible officer to conduct an independent investigation," the judge said.
The court further noted that it was stated in the status report that accused constable Praveen had gone to the place of incident after receiving a call from co-accused Prateek about commission of theft, but "interestingly there was no PCR call or any other compliant was made at PS Burari and Praveen has gone to the place of incident, on his own".
"It is clearly unbecoming of a police official to privately deal with complaints and showing a complete disregard to procedure established by law. DCP concerned is requested to look into this and take suitable action," the court said.
The court further ordered that steps be taken to get the statement of the victim recorded by the Executive Magistrate concerned, and the call detail records of all the accused persons as well the purported eye witnesses as mentioned in the status report be immediately preserved and collected.
The court also directed to collect the CCTV footage of all the nearby cameras installed immediately.
According to the complaint, on June 14, constable Praveen, along with Prateek and Chotu, beat up Rajesh and threw him off the roof of the building.
The dispute started on the allegation that his minor daughter, four-year-old, had stolen a diamond ring from the house of Prateek, which the girl had denied.
Rajesh was admitted to Trauma Centre and still stated to be in critical condition. A written complaint was filed on June 18 at Burari police station but no action was taken.
Accused Praveen is deployed at Burari police station as a constable and is a good friend of accused Prateek. Co-accused Chotu is Prateek's brother.
After filing the complaint, Rajesh's wife was told by police to compromise with the accused persons and that the accused were willing to pay her if she took back the complaint.
The police threatened that if the victim's wife did not agree to compromise then it will file a report stating that Rajesh himself jumped from the roof of the building, the complaint field before the court said.