Tamil Nadu

Madras High Court awards compensation to kin of accident victim, raps police for lethargy

Police miserably failed in discharging their duties, says judge.

Police miserably failed in discharging their duties, says judge.

The Madras High Court on Wednesday awarded a compensation of ₹15 lakh to the family members of a motor accident victim whose death was informed to his family only after 14 days of medical treatment provided to him as an “unknown person” without even registering a First Information Report regarding the accident.

Justice G. Chandrasekharan allowed a 2014 writ petition filed by A. Muthulakshmi, wife of the deceased N. Arumugam, and agreed with his counsel M. Purushothaman that the policemen at Kudimangalam police station in Tiruppur district had miserably failed in discharging their duties diligently leading to the death of the labourer.

He also ordered a further investigation in to the accident case by a team headed by a Deputy Superintendent of Police, since the police had registered the FIR only on November 13, 2014 for the accident that took place on October 30, 2014. What’s more, the labourer was shown as an accused in the FIR since he had reportedly smelled of alcohol.

The FIR was booked on the basis of a complaint lodged by a two-wheeler stand employee on whose premises the two-wheeler driven by the labourer was kept in safe custody after the accident. Thereafter, the FIR was quickly closed on the ground of the charge of drunk driving having got abated due to the death of the “accused.”

When the complainant was quizzed later by a Revenue Divisional Officer, he confessed to have simply affixed his signature on the complaint written by the police. Further, the guilty policemen claimed that a pedestrian, whom the labourer had dashed during the accident, was not interested in lodging a complaint.

Not finding the claims to be credible enough, the judge said only a further investigation in the crime would unearth the truth. He also pointed out that the family and friends of the labourer had run from pillar to post to find out his whereabouts when he was missing for 14 days, but they could not succeed in locating him.

It was again because of the lethargic attitude of the policemen, he said and pointed out that the friends and family members had visited the Kudimangalam police station itself on multiple occasions wanting to know if they had any information about the labourer, but the police personnel feigned ignorance.

The family had even shown the photographs of the labourer. Yet, a Special Sub Inspector of Police at the police station gave it in writing to them that they have no information about him. It was only after his death, the police got shaken up, contacted the family and asked for his motorcycle registration number.

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Printable version | Sep 25, 2022 9:23:49 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/madras-high-court-awards-compensation-to-kin-of-accident-victim-raps-police-for-lethargy/article65663030.ece