Auto driver let off, no proof he rammed into cop
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