The Delhi High Court on Tuesday granted a compensation of Rs.7.6 lakh to the family of a truck driver who was allegedly shot dead by a Delhi Police constable when he refused to stop the vehicle at a picket on Mehrauli-Badarpur Road in South Delhi in 2003.
The police are prosecuting Constable Anil Kumar under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code for allegedly killing the driver, Raju Bhandari.
They have also held the accused guilty in their departmental inquiry saying the “the conduct on the part of Constable Anil Kumar is an act of criminal indiscipline, carelessness, negligence, dereliction of duty and untenable in a disciplined force rendering him liable to be dealt with departmentally under the provision of the Delhi Police (Punishment & Appeal Rules, 1980).”
Justice S. Muralidhar granted the compensation on a petition by the father of the victim and after going through the charge-sheet filed against the accused as well as the departmental inquiry report.
Justice Muralidhar also rejected the argument of sovereign immunity put forward by the Union Government and that of the Delhi Police that they could not be held vicariously liable for the negligence of their employees.
“The facts are really not in dispute in the instant case. In any even, this Court proposes to rely only upon the facts as found substantiated by the respondents themselves after full-fledged inquiries,” Justice Muralidhar said in his order.
Dismissing the contention of the Union Government that Constable Anil Kumar was acting in his personal capacity, Justice Muralidhar said: “In view of the categorical findings, the Court is unable to accept the submission made on behalf of the respondent State that the accused constable was acting in his personal capacity.”
Setting the mode of disbursement of the compensation amount, the Court said it would have to be divided among the members of the family - father of the victim, his widowed sister and two minor children.