Coming down heavily on the police for failing to secure an accused, who caused a fatal accident even after a lapse of 10 years, the Madras High Court has allowed a plea moved by Kotak Mahindra Prime Limited (KMPL), which had extended the loan to dispose the car.
Following this, a case was registered and the car was seized by the police. But since Devika allegedly absconded after the incident and her whereabouts were not known, KMPL moved the Metropolitan Court in Saidapet seeking interim custody of the car as they had financed it and that Devika had defaulted in repayment. But the Magistrate granted interim custody of the car on condition that the petitioner should not alienate the car. In the meanwhile, the police completed the investigation and filed a final report pinning Devika for culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
But KMPL aggrieved with the Magistrate Court dismissing their plea seeking permission to dispose the car, moved the High Court.
Justice PN Prakash, before whom the plea came, on observing that from 2010 to 2019 the police have not been able to secure Devika on account of which the case is idling in the trial court without any progress, said,
“Normally, the vehicle will be returned to the driver and it is not marked as a material object in the trial. The eyewitness statement and the Motor Vehicles Inspector’s report would be enough to establish the fact that the vehicle in question was involved in the accident.”
Also, noting that being an absconder this long, Devika cannot claim any privilege under the law as held by the Supreme Court, Justice Prakash further said, “The fact that the police have not been able to secure Devika for the last 10 years, is a slur on the state police.”
He also recorded the submission by the government advocate that the steps taken by the police to trace Devika show that she is now in the US. Therefore, the police are liaising with the US Consulate to locate her and produce her before the trial Court.