Beas tragedy case: Array professors as respondents for wrong identification, says Himachal HC

The Himachal High Court on Monday directed that two Assistant Professors of a Hyderabad college be arrayed as respondents for allegedly wrongly identifying dead bodies in the Beas tragedy case.

PTI| Last Updated: Sep 15, 2014, 22:10 PM IST

Shimla: The Himachal High Court on Monday directed that two Assistant Professors of a Hyderabad college be arrayed as respondents for allegedly wrongly identifying dead bodies in the Beas tragedy case.

The court also allowed the parents of deceased students to intervene in the case pertaining to the washing away of 24 B Tech students of VNR Vigyan Jyoti Institute of Engineering and Technology, Hyderabad, and a co-tour operator in Beas river near Thalout in Mandi district on June 8 due to sudden discharge of water from Larji hydropower project.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Mansoor Ahmad Mir and Justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan passed these orders on a petition taking suo moto cognisance of news reports of the tragic incident.

ASP, Mandi, informed the court today that investigations have been taken to the logical end and final report in terms of Section 173(2) CrPC has been filed in the competent court.

The Advocate General informed the court that challan had been issued against the accused persons before the Judicial Magistrate, Mandi.

An intervener Ajay Mohan Goel pointed out to the court the negligence of two Assistant Professors of the college CV Ram Babu and VNM Rao in identification of the dead bodies, citing the affidavit of the Chief Secretary.

The professors had identified a male dead body found on June 19 as that of M Shiva Prakash, which was handed over to his parents. But another dead body was recovered on July 13 in decomposed state with belongings of M Shiva Prakash. The body was sent to Hyderabad and according to the report of Forensic Science Laboratory there, on the basis of DNA test, the body was that of Shiva Prakash.

The Chief Secretary has expressed apprehensions that the body recovered on June 19 may be that of K Shree Harsha as it matches his description. The photographs of the dead body recovered on June 19 had been sent to the district administration, Hyderabad, to compare with the group photographs of students taken before the incident.

The court has directed the respondents to clear the air on the subject within 4 weeks.

The court also directed the Chief Secretary to file affidavit after meeting the concerned departments on steps taken by the government and also asked the parties to suggest measures to prevent such mishaps in future and posted the matter for November 17 next.

Eighteen boys, six girls and a co-tour operator were washed away in Beas waters on June 8. Following massive search operations by rescue teams for over a month, all their bodies were recovered from various spots in the river.