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News updated at 1:45 AM IST

Constable's death case: Notice to centre, Delhi

New Delhi, Jan 4, 2013, (IANS):
The Delhi High Court Friday issued notice to the central and Delhi governments on the plea of eight people booked for the death of a constable who was injured in an anti-rape protest here.

Justice G.P. Mittal also issued notice to Delhi Police and asked for a status report in a week about the steps taken. "The application is allowed. Issue notice to Ministry of Home Affairs, Delhi government and Delhi Police through commissioner of police. The police to file status report in the case within one week," Justice Mittal said and posted the matter for Jan 15.

The eight accused have moved the high court saying they were innocent and wrongly arrested for allegedly taking part in a violent protest near India Gate Dec 23 in which Constable Subhash Chand Tomar got injured and subsequently died Dec 25.

Advocate Somnath Bharti, appearing for the accused, told the court that according to video footage of news channels and two witnesses, the accused were innocent. "Also DMRC (Delhi Metro Rail Corporation) that preserves its CCTV camera footage for seven days has shown that two of the accused were in a metro train at the time of the incident and according to a news channel video, Tomar was not attacked by anyone," said Bharti.

There were contradictions in the versions of police, witnesses and the medical superintendent of Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital where Tomar died, Bharti said. He cited Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar as saying at a press conference that Tomar received grievous injuries which led to his death.

"The commissioner on a TV channel said serious injuries were caused to Tomar and these eight accused were arrested from the site of protest. But two witnesses said the constable was not attacked by anyone and collapsed on his own."

The court had Dec 24 granted bail to accused Kailash Joshi, Amit Joshi, Nafees, Shankar Bisht, Nand Kumar, Shantanu Kumar, Abhishek and Chaman Kumar. After Tomar's death, they were booked for murder and the probe was handed over to the Crime Branch.

The Joshi brothers had moved a trial court claiming they were in a metro train Dec 23 when the incident happened and the CCTV footage of Rithala and Rajiv Chowk stations
should be preserved to allow them to provide evidence. The court then directed Delhi Metro to preserve the video recording.

Bharti sought removal of the police commissioner. "Now the city is headed by a chief of police who is not trustworthy. He should be removed." In another hearing on a case seeking CBI inquiry into the constable's death, the court refused to issue notice and re-notified the case for Jan 15.

The plea, filed by advocate Gaurav Kumar Bansal, has sought a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) inquiry into Tomar's death.

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