The Delhi High Court Monday shifted the probe into the death of a right to information activist in a road accident here last month to the crime branch of Delhi Police and sought fortnightly reports on the investigation.
Activist and retired government employee Ravinder Balwani, an aide of Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal and a member of his NGO Parivartan, was hit by a car April 23. He succumbed to head injuries three days later. The victim’s family alleged he was murdered.
The division bench of Acting Chief Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice R.S. Endlaw said: “In regard of the seriousness of the matter, the investigation shall be conducted by the crime branch and the progress file of the investigation shall be submitted to this court every fortnight.”
No arrests have been made and police claim there were no witnesses to the incident in south Delhi’s Vasant Kunj market where Balwani was found injured.
Police told the court that Balwani died in a hit-and-run incident and a first information report had been registered in Vasant Kunj police station.
Balwani retired in 2010 from the Delhi government-owned power utility Delhi Transco. He joined Kejriwal’s NGO Parivartan as an RTI activist and exposed corruption in power deals.
The court’s order came after counsel for Delhi’s Lokayukta told it about a letter written by Balwani, expressing threat to his life.
The letter was written by Balwani before his death and was addressed to the Lokayukta. It was sent to the anti-corruption watchdog by the victim’s son after his death, counsel said, while presenting the letter in court.
The court was hearing a plea filed by the Lokayukta against the court’s earlier order which said that the watchdog had no jurisdiction to probe allegations against Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers as they enjoyed immunity.
In 2009, the Lokayukta had summoned some IAS officers, posted with Delhi Transco, on Balwani’s complaint against them for their involvement in alleged corruption.