HC asks Delhi health secretary to set up board to examine X-Ray report of dead farmer

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New Delhi, Mar 17 (PTI) The Delhi High Court Wednesday directed Delhi health secretary to constitute a board of experts to examine the X-Ray report of 25-year-old farmer who died after his tractor overturned during the farmers' protest rally here on the Republic Day.

Justice Yogesh Khanna 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.

The high court said the report be examined by the board comprising medical and forensic experts as also a radiologist among others.

The board shall be constituted by the Secretary of Health Department of Delhi government, the high court said and posted the matter for further hearing on April 14.

The court was informed by Delhi government standing counsel (criminal) Rahul Mehra and advocate Chaitanya Gosain, representing Delhi Police, that they have shown CCTV footage to the family members and lawyers of the victim Navreet Singh.

The high court had earlier directed the Uttar Pradesh police to provide original X-Ray plate and video of post mortem of the victim to Delhi Police.

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 UP.

However, both the Delhi and UP Police told the court that Navreet did not suffer any gunshot wounds.

Delhi Police had earlier told the court that though they have requested the UP Police to give the original X-Ray plate and post mortem video, the officials of Rampur police and hospital denied doing so unless ordered by the court.

The counsel for UP Police and the CMO of the hospital had said they did not have the X-Ray report but only the X-Ray plate and the post mortem report which they are willing to handover to Delhi Police on the date and time fixed by the court.

She had said the original post mortem and inquest reports have already been handed over to the Delhi Police.

Advocate Vrinda Grover, representing the petitioner, had sought a copy of the X-Ray report and post mortem and inquest reports and Delhi Police had consented to it.

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, also filed through advocate Soutik Banerjee, 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 has also said that CCTV footage further indicates 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 instead of taking him to the hospital immediately, kept his body on the road for five hours and then spread rumours that he was killed in police firing.

The UP police, in its status report, had stated that no FIR has been registered by it in connection with the death as claimed by the petitioner.

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 three 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 SKV SA