Auto driver let off, no proof he rammed into cop

The Times of India (Mumbai edition) - - TIMES CITY -

Thane: Se­vere lapses in the po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion re­sulted in ac­quit­tal of an au­torick­shaw driver who was tried for al­legedly knock­ing down a traf­fic po­lice­man on Palm Beach Road in Navi Mumbai last year. In a re­cent or­der, as­sis­tant ses­sions judge N H Makhare ob­served that the pros­e­cu­tion had ‘mis­er­ably’ failed to prove any of the charges against Rahul Ga­jb­har (34) from Ulve of Pan­vel.

The pros­e­cu­tor told the court that on July 23, 2017, around 5.45pm, a drunk Ga­jb­har jumped the sig­nal and rammed into on­duty traf­fic po­lice­man Ashok Gaik­wad, who suf­fered in­juries.

The de­fence coun­sel pointed out sev­eral la­cu­nas in the case. Af­ter hear­ing both the sides, the judge ob­served: “The in­ves­ti­ga­tion of­fi­cer and panch wit­ness did not de­scribe the ex­act lo­ca­tion....The in­ves­ti­ga­tion of­fi­cer ad­mit­ted that CCTV cam­eras are fixed on five sig­nals be­tween Mo­raj and Sec­tor 50 sig­nals... but did not pro­duce CCTV footage.” The judge also re­jected pros­e­cu­tion’s claims that Ga­jb­har was driv­ing the auto in a rash and neg­li­gent man­ner. “No urine test of the ac­cused was done and no blood re­port pro­duced by pros­e­cu­tion, there­fore, it can­not be held that he was driv­ing un­der the in­flu­ence of al­co­hol,” the judge said. —Nishikant Kar­likar

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