Delhi High Court on Thursday ordered UP Police to share with Delhi Police the X-ray plate and video CD of the autopsy conducted on a 25-year-old youth who died after his speeding tractor crashed into police barricades during the protest on Republic Day.
The court also allowed the plea of deceased Navreet Singh’s grandfather Hardeep Singh to get copies of the inquest and postmortem report of the victim, while also permitting him or his lawyer Vrinda Grover to view the preserved footage from nearly 12 CCTV cameras that covered the incident spot at ITO.
Justice Yogesh Khanna directed that both the documents be handed over to the investigating officer of Delhi Police on March 5 at 2pm and retained in safe custody. Hardeep’s plea claimed that the victim suffered gunshot injuries to his head even as both Delhi and UP Police denied the allegation. His autopsy was conducted at Rampur district hospital. The petition sought a court-monitored SIT probe into the death.
Standing counsel Rahul Mehra, representing Delhi Police, questioned the refusal of UP Police and Rampur hospital officials to deny X-ray records and postmortem video despite Delhi Police asking for them.
However, advocate Garima Prashad, appearing for UP Police and the CMO of the hospital, clarified that there was no X-ray report and they only had the X-ray plate and postmortem report, which they were willing to hand over to Delhi Police. She said the original postmortem and inquest reports had already been handed over to Delhi Police.
Delhi Police had stated that the postmortem report showed that Navreet had died due to a head injury as a result of the accident. It also relied on footage of CCTV cameras located at Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg and told the court that since Navreet was driving the tractor at high speed, his vehicle overturned after hitting the barricades. It added that the footage also showed that police personnel ran for safety from the speeding tractor and none of them fired upon the vehicle or the driver.
Submissions by police mentioned that CCTV footage further indicated that the protesters didn’t take the injured Navreet to any hospital immediately and, instead, attacked the ambulances that reached the site. The protesters kept his body on the road for five hours and then spread rumours that he was killed in police firing.
UP Police stated that no FIR was registered by it for the death, as claimed by the petitioner. The petitioner’s counsel had earlier contended that the way Delhi Police had conducted itself in the matter, it “didn’t inspire a shred of confidence”.