29 years and many twists later, ex-officers get justice
Missing case file that mysteriously reappears after three years. Then the FIR goes missing. A witness turns hostile. For Kamal Taori and SM Naseem, the road to justice seemed forever under construction. Umesh Raghuvanshi reports.india Updated: Jun 11, 2012 02:15 IST
Missing case file that mysteriously reappears after three years. Then the FIR goes missing. A witness turns hostile. For Kamal Taori and SM Naseem, the road to justice seemed forever under construction. But after 29 excruciatingly long years, the two retired civil servants finally had some good news coming their way when a judicial magistrate court sentenced a bus driver and conductor, who had assaulted them while on duty in 1983, to three years in jail.
On June 2, 1983, IAS officer Taori and IPS officer Naseem, both aged 68 now, had chased an off-route UP State Road Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) bus suspected to be involved in unauthorised operations patronised by a local politician.
After a 15-km chase, they managed to stop the bus at Atraulia in Azamgarh district. But the two accused, Amarnath Pandey and Parasnath Tiwari brutally assaulted the officers."We faced obstructions at the very outset… even lodging an FIR was getting difficult," said Taori, who was then MD with the UPSRTC. "The police filed an FIR much later for obstructing public servants and causing grievous hurt."
However, investigating officer Sidheshwar Nath Mishra retired in 1986 and then came the twist in the tale — the case file went missing mysteriously. On the initiative of the then district police chief Karamveer Singh, a search was ordered to find the missing file. And in 1989, the file reappeared and a chargesheet was filed.
A decade later, charges against the accused were framed. But soon, the FIR was found missing. And thus the case lingered on for nearly three decades during which they faced many more obstacles. “Finally, we moved the Allahabad HC which ordered regular monitoring of the case,” Taori said.
On March 26, the judicial magistrate court, Azamgarh, awarded three-year jail terms each to Pandey and Tiwari. But the convicted duo has filed an appeal in the district court.
Taori and Naseem have to play the waiting game again. "We are now hoping this doesn't drag on for another 29 years," Taori said.