Delhi HC to hear PIL for CBI probe into police assault on auto driver, son in Mukherjee Nagar

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The Delhi High Court on Wednesday agreed to hear a PIL seeking an independent CBI probe into the alleged police assault on an autorickshaw driver and his minor son in northwest Delhi’s Mukherjee Nagar.

The petition, which also sought framing of appropriate guidelines for police reforms, was mentioned before a bench of justices Jayant Nath and Najmi Waziri. The bench will hear the matter at 2.15 pm on Wednesday.

The petition by Seema Singhal, an advocate by profession, referred to news reports about the incident and said the autorickshaw driver and his minor son were allegedly assaulted by police and sought calling of records, including medical reports, of the case.

On Sunday evening, several video clips of a brawl between Sarabjeet Singh, the auto driver, and policemen went viral on social media.

In one of the clips, the auto driver was seen chasing the policemen with a sword. In another video, the policemen were seen thrashing the auto driver and his son with batons.

The plea, filed through advocate Sangeeta Bharti, has sought an independent probe by the CBI or a similar agency into the “brutal attack” on Singh and his minor son, adding that “a service gun was pointed towards the minor by the policemen threatening him of dire consequences”.

It sought framing of appropriate guidelines for police reforms to prevent such “violent acts of police brutality and excessive force”.

The plea also called for the status report of the case along with the CCTV footage from Mukherjee Nagar police station and sought a direction from the court to the Centre, Delhi government and others to compensate the victims.

“Direct the respondents to pay compensation to the innocent victims of police brutality committed by the state agency and for the injury caused to them by such heinous acts of brutal police force on wholly untenable grounds,” the plea said.

It also sought the media to be restrained from revealing the identity of Singh’s minor son and from publishing his pictures or releasing his interviews on any media platform.

The plea said there was no credible legal justification for the brutalities and atrocities committed by the policemen on Singh and his minor son.

“Assuming without admitting that Sarabjeet Singh had taken out his kirpan to attack the policemen, they should have used reasonable force to make him drop the kirpan rather than hitting him and his minor son mercilessly. Such brazen acts on the part of police who are the protectors of law are reminiscent of state oppression that cannot be countenanced in a constitutional democracy,” it said.

“The horrific incident of excessive police force and brutality led to huge unrest amongst the general public at large who amassed in huge numbers in front of the police station, Mukherjee Nagar,” the plea added.

According to news reports, police said the altercation took place after the auto driver’s vehicle collided with a police van.

Eight personnel were injured in the brawl, the police had claimed.

Subsequent to the incident, the Delhi Police suspended three policemen for “unprofessional behaviour” and initiated a probe.