NEW DELHI -- A new audio clip that has surfaced, recording the heated exchange between a Delhi traffic cop and a lady driver on Monday, suggests that the police officer requested for the woman's license and registration certificate repeatedly, even as she hurled abuses at him. The traffic police officer, identified as Satish Chander, was later caught on camera throwing bricks at the woman's scooter and then at her as well. The woman was accompanied by her children at the time of the incident on Mathura Road in south Delhi.
The cop has been suspended pending enquiry. The woman has claimed that he hit her with a brick because she refused to pay a bribe. There is no evidence of that in the audio clip, and the cop is clearly heard saying she can pay in court.
The incident had shook the Capital, pointing to the urgent need for police reforms.
Senior Delhi police officials said they were checking the authenticity of the audio clip and had sent it for forensic examination.
"Our probe is still on, and we are taking all the evidence under consideration," Delhi police commissioner BS Bassi told journalists on Wednesday. "We are not biased."
No matter what the situation is, they must behave with courtesy & not lose their temper: BS Bassi,Police Commissioner pic.twitter.com/CDd8LlRYCX
— ANI (@ANI_news) May 13, 2015
Meanwhile the Delhi high court on Wednesday took suo moto cognizance of the case and said that the woman driver appeared to have "improved her statement" and "become a TV star." The high court noted that cases of road rage were increasing and that it would appoint amicus curiae to examine the role of police and increasing road rage. This is not expected to affect the bail order or other proceedings against the head constable.
Audio Clip Suggests Driver Resisted Challan
In the audio recording, head constable Satish Chander is heard asking the lady to stop her scooter and not create a scene "unnecessarily." He then asks her to produce her driver's license, to which she challenges him, demanding why she should show it to him.
"I'll write a challan," Chander is heard telling the woman, following which she asks him to go ahead, but says she won't give him the fine amount at the spot.
"Ok, I will do a court challan," says Chander, then accusing the woman of behaving badly and not possessing a registration certificate for her scooter or the driver's license.
It's around then that the exchange appears to take a turn for the worse, and a child — presumably the daughter of the woman driver — is heard crying in the background, begging her mother to hand over her license to Chander.
The woman in the audio recording calls Chander a "lowly person", adding that she has a license. Chander retorts angrily to her, asking her to stop talking nonsense, and telling her she has no decency, demanding that she produce her RC and license immediately.
While the audio recording suggests that the police officer had not asked for a bribe as alleged by the woman driver and some passersby, senior police officers said that it still didn't justify the brutal assault on the woman by an officer on duty. Since the woman on her complaint has insisted that Chander asked for a bribe, the cop has been dismissed under the prevention of corruption act until the matter is investigated further.
"The head constable also has been unable to explain why he didn't report the incident to the police control room immediately after the woman picked the fight as claimed by him," said a senior officer investigating the charges. "A PCR call was made by him only after other passersby intervened."
Police Officer's Statement
The cop in question was posted at the Tughlak Road traffic circle and was on duty on Monday for 13 hours from 8 am to 9 pm. He has told police that he saw the woman driver with two children on her scooty jumping the traffic light, following which he tried to stop her but she refused.
He has claimed that he had to stop in front of her to prevent her fleeing from the spot. According to Chander, she did not have the relevant documents to drive the scooty, and hurled abuses at him, and even tore his shirt. When he called the PCR, she threw a stone at him, he said.
The woman had earlier told journalists that the police officer had asked for a bribe and then kicked her scooty before hurling a brick at her.
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