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Chandigarh stalking: Drunk Vikas Barala, friend refused blood, urine tests

The police also could have added sections of non-bailable offence category on the basis of blood or urine sample reports.

india Updated: Aug 09, 2017 12:59 IST
Surender Sharma and Tanbir Dhaliwal
Surender Sharma and Tanbir Dhaliwal
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Chandigarh stalking,Varnika Kundu,Vikas Barala
Activists protest against Haryana BJP chief Subash Baral in Panchkula. His son, Vikas Barala, is accused of stalking a woman. The case has mounted pressure on Haryana’s BJP-led government.(Sant Arora/HT)

Vikas Barala, the son of the Haryana BJP chief, and his friend refused to give their blood and urine samples after their detention for allegedly stalking a woman in Chandigarh, medical reports accessed by HT show. After their arrest too police did not go for the medical test.

The new exposure could potentially put more pressure on Chandigarh police, battling allegations of diluting the case against the son of an influential leader of the ruling party.

While Chandigarh director general of police TS Luthra did not respond to call and text messages, Chandigarh senior superintendent of police, Eish Singhal, said a medical examination was conducted on the accused. But he did not specify whether blood or urine samples were taken.

Vikas, son of Haryana BJP president Subhash Barala, and his friend, were released on bail within a couple of hours of their arrest on August 5 following a complaint of stalking and harassment by Varnika Kundu, the daughter of an IAS officer.

Why police should’ve insisted on samples
  • *The findings of these two tests would have helped police strengthen their case, say legal experts
  • *The proof of drunkenness would have further “aggravated their culpability” of accused.
  • *Also, the police also could have added sections of non-bailable offence category on the basis of blood, urine sample reports.
  • *It would have helped the police in quantifying the degree of offence, say experts

They were allegedly drunk at the time of the incident.

“Their breath smelled of alcohol and their eyes were red (congestion of the conjunctiva) and both denied to give blood and urine samples to testify the blood alcohol content,” reads the report prepared by doctors of the civil hospital at Manimanjra in Chandigarh.

The report was based on observation.

It said Vikas Barala was “conscious, oriented and vitals (pulse rate, blood pressure, temperature, respiratory rate) are stable...gait and speech are normal and there are no external marks of injuries”. The report of his friend, Ashish Kumar, was similar.

Varnika and her father reacted with indignation.

“If someone who constantly chose to keep faith in the system, is also dealt with like this then what good is such a system,” she said.

“I’m very disappointed, this is definitely going to change things,” she said, adding her trust had been broken and that she might want to review her process now.

Her father, VS Kunda, said he was “angry”.

“Can they even do this? Can they refuse,” he said. “I was told by the police that they were taken to GMCH-16 for the medical from the police station in Sector 26 so I don’t know what exactly to say,” the father added.

Legal experts HT spoke to said police had the power to force the accused to give samples of body fluids and that findings of these two tests would have helped strengthen their case.

The proof of drunkenness, according to legal experts, would have further “aggravated their culpability”.

Also, the police could have added sections of non-bailable offence category on the basis of blood or urine sample reports.

“It would have helped the police in quantifying the degree of offence,” said Punjab and Haryana high court senior advocate Atul Lakhan Pal, adding that even now it would be presumed they were under the influence of liquor.

Anupam Gupta, another senior advocate, too said proof of drunkenness would have further aggravated their culpability though he felt police had a “cast-iron case of stalking against the two accused”.

He said medical examination by force is permissible by law. “It is apparent that one of the main reasons for not registering a non-bailable offence was to avoid medical examination.”

Medical examination was absolutely imperative because doctors found them to be drunk and the motive of police in not arresting the accused stand exposed now with this revelation, he said.

“It is the job of an investigating officer to ask the doctors to take blood and urine samples. Doctors cannot force the patient, until and unless the IO orders it. In this case, police did not take the initiative and they never asked doctors to take blood or urine sample,” said a senior doctor from the health department.

“Had the police asked us, we would have forcefully taken the samples,” he said.

A senior government doctor said a medical report could be produced in court if the accused contests the medical report.

“Analysis of blood and urine samples for blood alcohol content is more accurate and can also tell us the amount of alcohol intake,” he added.

Opposition parties including the Congress have accused police of deliberately weakening the case to protect the son of the leading party leader.

First Published: Aug 09, 2017 09:14 IST