HC grants time to household to hunt opinion of consultants on farmer’s autopsy report

New Delhi, April 15

The Delhi High Court Thursday granted time to the family of a 25-year-old farmer, who died after his tractor overturned during the farmers’ protest rally on the Republic Day, to seek opinion of experts on his post mortem and X-Ray reports.

Justice Yogesh Khanna also asked the Delhi Police to allow the family to view the CCTV footage of the spot where the incident took place, whenever they want to.

The court listed the matter for further hearing on July 26.

The high court was hearing a plea by deceased Navreet Singh’s grandfather—Hardeep Singh—claiming that the victim suffered gunshot injuries to his head. His post mortem was conducted at Rampur district hospital in Uttar Pradesh.

However, both the Delhi and Uttar Pradesh Police had told the court that Navreet Singh did not suffer any gunshot wounds.

During the hearing, advocates Vrinda Grover and Soutik Banerjee, representing Hardeep Singh, said the family needs time to seek experts’ evaluation of the material provided to them by the police which included post mortem report and video and X-ray report of the deceased.

The high court had earlier directed the Delhi health secretary to constitute a board of medical and forensic experts and also a radiologist to examine the X-Ray report of Navreet Singh.

It had also asked the doctors of Maulana Azad Medical College here to prepare the X-Ray report from the original X-Ray plate which has been received by Delhi Police from the Uttar Pradesh police.

Delhi Police had earlier said that according to the post-mortem report the young farmer died due to a head injury as a result of the accident and all his injuries were possible in a road accident.

The petition has sought a court-monitored SIT probe into the death of the young farmer.

Delhi Police has relied upon the footage collected from CCTV cameras located at the site—Deen Dayal Upadhyay marg—where the young farmer died and said that he was driving the tractor at high speed and the vehicle overturned after hitting the barricades.

It had said that the footage also shows that the police personnel were running away for safety from the speeding tractor and that none of them fired upon the vehicle or the driver.  

Delhi Police had also said that CCTV footage further indicated that the protestors did not take the injured Navreet Singh to any nearby hospital and instead they attacked the ambulances that reached the site after hearing about the accident.

It had said that the protestors kept his body on the road for five hours and then spread rumours that he was killed in police firing.

The petitioner’s counsel had earlier contended that the way Delhi Police has conducted itself in the matter “does not inspire a shred of confidence”.

She had argued that this indicated that the victim lost control of the tractor and it overturned as he was shot by the police personnel.

According to the police, the man had died as his tractor overturned at ITO where many farmers participating in the tractor parade had reached from the Ghazipur border after taking a detour of the pre-agreed route for the march.

The police had claimed that the man was driving the tractor and he came under the vehicle as it overturned.

Thousands of farmers, mostly from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, have been camping at the Delhi border points—Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur—for over four months, demanding the repeal of new farm laws and a legal guarantee on the minimum support price(MSP) for their crops.

The protesting farmers clashed with the police in the national capital on January 26 during a tractor parade to highlight their demands. PTI


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