Panjab University authorities seem to have been caught in a web of their own making in a case of theft of one attendance register. Satish Kumar, a driver, was booked on charges of theft on February 17 but till date the varsity had allegedly failed to provide evidence to police on the basis of which they had lodged a complaint.
Kumar, working since 1993 in the university, was accused of stealing an attendance register of drivers from administrative block on January 30. On February 8, chief security office of the university PK Dhawan lodged a complaint of theft at the Sector 11 police station which was converted into an FIR on February 17.
In the complaint given to the police, the PU officials had claimed that they had CCTV footage of Satish Kumar committing the crime.
After not receiving CCTV footage from the varsity, the police sent a reminder on February 27 followed by another on March 30. The varsity informed police that due to technical snag the video footage was damaged.
To take the case forward and ascertain the authenticity of the case, the police seized the hard disk and send to central forensic sciences laboratory (CFSL) for testing.
Sushma, wife of Satish Kumar, had also requested the university to provide a copy of CCTV recording under RTI Act, which was turned down on grounds that the copy cannot be given as it will hamper the investigation.
When contacted, PK Dhawan maintained that they had the evidence and provided the same to police. When quizzed why the hard disk was sent to CFSL, Dhawan said that it was send by police as part of their investigation.
Contrary to what Dhawan had to say, SHO Sector 11 police station inspector Gurmukh Singh said that they had registered a case on the written statement submitted by the university authorities against its employee. However, they did not supply the CCTV footage despite repeated reminders from their side, he said.
"We need concrete evidence to take the case to conclusion else it will fall flat in court. We are waiting for the CFSL report and accordingly will proceed further," said Gurmukh Singh.
Leela Devi, 70-year-old mother of Satish Kumar, have lodged a complaint with president, prime minister and vice-president of India along with national human right commission and UT SSP urging them to intervene in the matter.
Leela Devi claimed that her son had moved more than 50 RTI applications seeking sensitive information pertaining to functioning of PU. "Some top officials fear Satish might expose them as a result of that insecurity they got my son falsely implicated in a theft case," said Leela Devi.