New Delhi: After a 16-year-long trial, a family member of a businessman killed in the Connaught Place fake encounter here in 1997 was today acquitted by a Delhi court of charge of assaulting a doctor who had conducted the postmortem of the two victims wrongly shot dead by the cops.
Metropolitan Magistrate Vijeta Singh acquitted 55-year-old Narender Garg, a cousin of businessman Pradeep Goyal who was killed in a fake encounter on March 31, 1997, in the case of assaulting and obstructing a government servant from discharging his official duties.
Garg was facing trial for over last 16 years in the case which was lodged against him and four others on a complaint that on April 1, 1997, they had assaulted Dr G K Sharma after he had denied to give them the postmortem reports of Goyal and Jagjit Singh, who were killed in the fake encounter.
The other three accused, Dinesh Goyal, Karamjeet Singh and Didar Singh, were earlier discharged in the case due to lack of admissible evidence while one of the co-accused, Gurmukh Singh, was declared as a proclaimed offender after he did not appear in the court.
The court had framed charges against Garg in the case under various provisions of the IPC, including sections 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of his public functions) and 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty).
Garg had told the court that he was never asked to join the investigation and was falsely implicated in the case.
The fake encounter had taken place on March 31, 1997 when a Delhi Police Crime Branch team led by Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) S S Rathi had fired indiscriminately at a car in Connaught Place here after suspecting that the two Haryana based businessmen, Pradeep Goyal and Jagjit Singh, were Uttar Pradesh based gangsters.
The Supreme Court, on May 2, 2011, had upheld conviction and life sentence of 10 Delhi Police officials including ACP Rathi for killing the two businessmen in the fake encounter.
The police, in its charge sheet filed against Garg, had alleged that relatives of the two businessman had unlawfully assembled and assaulted a doctor and policemen at a mortuary in a government hospital here on April 1, 1997.
It had said that the relatives had gone to the mortuary to collect postmortem reports and after the doctor had denied the same, the accused persons assaulted Dr Sharma who was on duty there and had conducted the postmortem.
Garg`s counsel Ajay Digpaul had countered the allegations saying a false case was lodged against his client as he had identified Goyal`s body and the police was pressurising Garg not to depose in the case in which some police officials were tried separately.