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Audi-Tavera mishap case: IG marks fresh probe into conduct of cops

Having faced the Punjab and Haryana high court’s ire for shoddy investigation in last July’s Audi-Tavera accident, UT inspector general of police (IG) RP Upadhyaya on Thursday ordered a fresh probe into the conduct of the cops who dealt with the case.
By Monica Sharma | Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
UPDATED ON MAY 30, 2014 10:07 AM IST

Having faced the Punjab and Haryana high court’s ire for shoddy investigation in last July’s Audi-Tavera accident, UT inspector general of police (IG) RP Upadhyaya on Thursday ordered a fresh probe into the conduct of the cops who dealt with the case.

The IG had rejected the departmental inquiry report that gave a clean chit to the three policemen.

On July 23 last year, an Audi car had rammed into a Tavera multi-utility vehicle after hitting the divider on the dividing road of Sectors 17 and 18.

The police had chargesheeted Audi owner Rajat Kapoor, his brother-in-law Trivikram Singh, friends Gurpreet Singh, Harsimranjit Singh and Prabhjit Singh.

In a departmental inquiry, deputy superintendent of police (DSP), crime investigation department (CID), Anil Joshi had given a clean chit to then station house officer (SHO) of the Sector 17 police station inspector Ram Gopal, and sub-inspectors Harminderjit Singh and Kuldeep Singh, who had been placed under suspension.

Joshi had submitted his report about two months ago. Now, a fresh inquiry will be conducted by assistant superintendent of police (ASP), city, Parminder Singh.

The IG said, “I do not agree with the findings of the inquiry officer. Therefore, I have ordered a departmental inquiry again. The ASP will submit his findings in three months.”

Pointing out to the shortcomings in the inquiry report, the IG said Joshi had not held the three cops guilty for any lapse in the investigation.

Firstly, Joshi did not examine the survivors in the Tavera. They had witnessed the accident. The IG pointed out that Home Guard volunteer Gurnam Singh, who was on patrol duty with Home Guard volunteer Surjit Singh on whose statement the case was registered in the incident, had also not been examined by the officer.

The IG also highlighted that Harminderjit was aware of the fact that the driver of the Audi was at fault. In spite of this, a case was registered against the driver of the Tavera.

He added that independent witnesses — auto driver Chandan Kumar, and passersby Tanush Chadha and Abhishek Sanghi — were examined the next day after the registration of the FIR.

They stated that they had seen the boys running out of the Audi and throwing liquor bottles on the pavement.

Inspector Ram Gopal, the then Sector 17 SHO, had examined them. He had also sent them to sub-inspector Harminderjit.

The SHO, being the chief investigating officer, should not have passed on the responsibility to his juniors.

The IG said that the inquiry officer had overlooked the cross-examination of Surjit Singh on whose statement the case was registered.

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