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HindustanTimes Sat,12 Jul 2014

Patiala accident: 'Fire tender given on police request'

HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times  Patiala, October 12, 2013
First Published: 22:06 IST(12/10/2013) | Last Updated: 10:03 IST(13/10/2013)

There has been a controversy over the death of 16-year-old girl Priya Kapur who was crushed to death by a fire tender in a high court judge's cavalcade on Friday, as the high court registrar general has said that Justice Surya Kant was travelling with a pilot vehicle only and that he never requested the district administration to provide him the fire tender.

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Patiala deputy commissioner GK Singh on Saturday said that the judge was provided the fire tender as part of his security cavalcade as desired by the district police. The DC's office also produced a copy of the communication the office had sent to the municipal corporation in this regard.

The case has raised a controversy as the judge was apparently extended the "undue favour" by the district administration.

Admitting that judges are not entitled to the fire tender, SSP Hardial Singh Mann said, "It is routine to provide a fire tender to a VIP to tackle a fire-like situation in a cavalcade when he is passing through the city. So the judge was provided the tender."

Mother demands justice

An inconsolable Rita Kapur, the victim's mother, said, "It's kanya poojan today, and I have cremated my daughter. Police are pressing us not to name the judge in the FIR, while the officials of the MC, where my husband works, are also pressing us not to pursue the case."
 
She said they would have forgiven the VIP had he taken the child to hospital by stopping the cavalcade, adding that she would pursue the case to get justice for her daughter.

Saurav Kapur, cousin of the victim, said, "We had urged the police to register an FIR against the VIP, but they are yet to take action in the FIR."


Cong MLA demands action

Congress MLA Brahm Mohindra has demanded action against the officials. "The question is was the VIP entitled to a fire tender in the cavalcade? And who bent the rules to provide him that?" he wondered.

Mohindra said, "Why did the administration provide the security to which the judge was not entitled? A precious human life has been lost. It must be probed and the guilty punished."

HC registrar general clarifies

High court registrar general GS Gill has clarified that neither the high court authorities nor anyone on behalf of justice Surya Kant or the Patiala district judge had requested the local authorities for the fire tender.

The car in which the judge was travelling was accompanied only by a pilot vehicle, he said, denying there was a fire tender in the cavalcade. The judge himself came to know about the incident from the news item, he added.

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