Aurangabad, March 25:
The Aurangabad Division Bench of the Bombay High Court taking cognizance of the death of a collegiate girl Aquifa Mehreen in an accident, and a case has been registered against PSI, Santosh Pate, responsible for the accident, after two years of the incident. The police have submitted the charge sheet in court.
The bench comprising Justice Ravindra V Ghuge and Justice B U Debadwar issued an order to the police commissioner to conduct a divisional inquiry of the investigation officer, API S K Khatane.
PSI, Pate on April 22, 2019, dashed the two-wheeler of Aqifia by his car at Town Hall flyover. She died on April 24 while undergoing treatment. Her father Mohammad Zahir submitted a petition through Adv Saeed S Shaikh in the high court. On December 11, 2020, the bench of Justice T V Nalawade and Justice M G Shevlikar issued an order to police commissioner to conduct an inquiry and take action.
On January 5, 2021, the commissioner of police, Dr Nikhil Gupta, submitted a report and admitted that the investigating officer Khatane had committed several serious mistakes in the investigation. Action is being taken against Khatane while the investigation has been handed over to the ACP Hanumant Bhapkar, Dr Gupta mentioned in the report.
Meanwhile, a case of carelessness in driving due to which accident occurred was registered against the PSI and the charge sheet was submitted in the lower court.
The government pleader brought to the notice of the bench that the action to stop the salary hike of the investigating officer is under process.
Adv Saeed S Shaikh appeared for the petitioner while Adv Syed Jahad Ali assisted him, D R Kale and K S Patil for the government.
The bench mentioned that the courts could not ignore such incidents by being mere mute spectators. We will be unsuccessful in our responsibilities if we ignore such actions of the police officers. The police commissioner should issue a show-cause notice to the investigating officer and take strict action, due to which the common public can have faith in the police machinery. The bench also took note of the unbiased investigation of police commissioner Dr Nikhil Gupta.