The HC orders the Delhi Police chief to submit a standard operating procedure for handling road traffic accidents
As part of a petition filed by the mother of a 26-year-old man who died in an accident in 2017, the Delhi High Court Friday ordered the Delhi Police Commissioner to put the standard operating procedure on record.
An individual judge bench of Justice Prathiba Singh observed that it was an “unfortunate case” and asked the Delhi Police to put any compensation scheme or policy on record. According to the complaint, the deceased got into an accident after another hit his car. The plea says the driver was intoxicated and driving at high speeds.
Swaty Singh Mallik, the attorney for the parents, claimed the driver’s blood sample wasn’t submitted in time for analysis and was over three months late. According to her, the parents weren’t given a fair trial. The HC also heard that the investigating officer (IO) didn’t take the CCTV footage.
A judge in the HC ruled, “Before proceeding further, this court directs the commissioner of police to record any standard operating procedures (SOPs) that the police follow in accident cases.”. We’ll put the SOP on record in six weeks. The next hearing is on April 19, 2023.
It says the investigator botched up the case by not sending the driver’s blood samples to the forensic science lab (FSL). According to the plea, the IO kept the samples with him until February 2018, knowing the driver was drunk. The driver was arrested under IPC sections 279 and 304A (causing death by negligence), and since both offences are bailable, he was released.
According to the plea, when the mother asked the IO to take CCTV footage of the accident to shed light on what happened, he told her to stay away from it. According to the plea, not only did the IO botch the investigation but the way the lapse occurred clearly shows that IO acted in clear contravention of his public duties and gave a wrongful benefit to the driver, infringing on the mother’s right to a fair trial.
Allegedly, a departmental investigation into the IO in October 2018 concluded that he kept the samples without reason and would be punished accordingly. However, “the Commissioner of Police took no appropriate action against the respondent IO”. As part of the plea, the IO was also accused of interfering with the administration of justice and damaging evidence.
Basically, it asks for a new departmental inquiry against the IO to be conducted, setting aside the decision delivered in the departmental inquiry that ended in October 2018. For violating her fundamental rights, it wants exemplary, punitive damages of Rs 50,00,000 awarded to her mother.