The Oshiwara police committed several errors in the process of investigating and gathering evidence against the accused responsible for the drink-driving accident that left three people grievously injured on Sunday, HT found out.
The police have not conducted an official blood test, determined the alcohol content, nor have they seized the vehicle of the accused, Manoj Gautam. After the accident, the police took him to a private hospital instead of a government-run one for his medical procedure.
According to the additional commissioner of police for west region, Vishwas Nangre-Patil, the 39-year-old accused was taken to Siddharth Hospital in Goregaon (west) instead of the government-run Cooper hospital.
YP Singh, former IPS officer and lawyer said, “Government hospitals are better trained for forensic work. And if the incident occurred at Oshiwara, both the hospitals were equidistant.”
Besides, said Nangre-Patil, he has learned that the blood test of the accused was not conducted, which is usually the norm in drink-driving cases.
“The police have registered a case on the basis of a breath analyser test and by observation of dilated pupils of the accused,” he said.
Not conducting a blood test, Singh said, is a dereliction of duty on the part of the police.
“A blood test provides the exact content of alcohol in the blood of the accused, which either strengthens or weakens the case against him. It provides critical evidence while a breath analyser test is prone to errors,” he said.
Besides, the accused’s car, a black Honda City, was not seized by the Oshiwara police. The autorickshaw that the victims were travelling in, however, stands outside Oshiwara police station.
“Vehicles are seized only in cases of fatal accidents. In minor accidents, the car is not seized,” said Pratap Dighavkar, deputy commissioner of police for zone IX. Singh, however, said that any vehicle involved in an accident has to be compulsorily seized.
“In several cases, the damage to each of the cars involved in an accident are forensically compared and provided as vital evidence. If the vehicle was returned to the offender, he might claim later that the accident occurred because of a mechanical failure,” he said.
Meanwhile, Sagar Thakkar, fiancé of Charu Khandal who was seriously injured in the accident said, “When I asked the police about the accused on Monday, the police said that his blood report had not arrived. I wonder how it takes two days for a simple blood test report.”