Bombay HC Slams Police For Delay In Recording Priya Singh's Statement In Bureaucrat's Son Ashwajit Gaikwad Case, Orders Senior Officer Intervention

Bombay HC Slams Police For Delay In Recording Priya Singh's Statement In Bureaucrat's Son Ashwajit Gaikwad Case, Orders Senior Officer Intervention

The HC was hearing a petition filed by social media influencer Priya Singh seeking that Gaikwad be booked under the charges of attempt to murder.

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Saturday, June 22, 2024, 02:53 AM IST
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Main accused Ashwajit Gaikwad and victim Priya Singh | Dharmesh Thakkar/ANI

Mumbai: Observing that it shook their conscience, the Bombay High Court rapped the police for failing to record the supplementary statement of Priya Singh, who was allegedly run over by a bureaucrat's son Ashwajit Gaikwad in December last year in Thane.

“It shakes our conscience after perusing the case diary and record of investigation as the victim in a crime has to plead repeatedly before the Investigating Officer for recording her statement,” a bench of Justices Ajey Gadkari and Neela Gokhale said. The HC was hearing a petition filed by social media influencer Priya Singh seeking that Gaikwad be booked under the charges of attempt to murder.

On April 22, the HC had directed the police to record Singh’s supplementary / additional statement. At the time, the public prosecutor had informed the court that investigation is in progress and attempts were made to record Aingh’s further statement.

Advocate Mayuri Harley, appearing for Singh, told the bench that the police has still not recorded her statement. After going through the case diary maintained by the police, the bench soad it was “startled” as it said that a report was to be sent to the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT) to file claim for damages or compensation.

“We are startled after reading case diary… wherein it is stated that, as a report is to be sent to the Motor Accident Claim Tribunal, the Aadhar Card, Bank Pass book and other documents are necessary for it from the Respondent No.2 (Singh). We are unable to accept such a recording in a case diary,” the bench said.

Taking a serious view, the bench said, “According to us, the Investigating Officer,A.P.I. Mr. Vishal Rumane is investigating a crime and has not been appointed to file a claim for damages or compensation before the M.A.C.T..”

The judges said prima facie the Investigating Officer (IO) is “not well conversant with the provisions of Cr.P.C. (Code of Criminal Procedure) which is the law of the land”.

The court has directed the joint commissioner of police, Thane, to read the petition, peruse all the record of investigation, peruse the case diary and thereafter file his personal affidavit. “We further direct the Joint Commissioner of Police, (Crimes) Thane, not to delegate his powers to any sub-ordinate Officer,” the bench emphasised.

Also, the case diary maintained by the IO is in loose sheets which is in contravention of the provisions of the CrPC. “There is much more to say about the investigation being carried out however, we reserve our comments to be offered after perusing the Affidavit of Joint Commissioner of Police, Thane in that behalf,” the bench concluded while keeping the matter for hearing on June 27.

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