The 32-year-old driver of the cab, which hit Union Minister Gopinath Munde's car in the wee hours in New Dehli on Tuesday at an intersection leading to his death, was allegedly speeding and had jumped the red light, according to police.
“An FIR has been registered against Gurvinder Singh under section 279 (rash and negligent driving) and 304(A)(causing death by negligence) at Tughlak Road Police Station and he was arrested after prima facie he was found at fault of jumping the red light and over speeding,” said Additional Commissioner of Police (New Delhi) SBS Tyagi.
Singh, however, was given bail by Metropolitan Magistrate Puneet Pahwa after he was produced before him later in the afternoon. Delhi Police said the Intelligence Bureau and the Special Cell were investigating whether any conspiracy angle was there behind the accident. The incident took place around 6.30 am at Aurobindo Chowk.
Munde had started from his 21, Lodhi Colony home for airport. His Maruti Suzuki SX4 car was coming from Prithviraj Road and crossing the intersection to go on Safdarjung Road. Meanwhile, the Indica car, being driven by Singh, came from Aurobindo Marg at a high speed and hit Munde's car from the left side where the Union Minister was sitting, police said.
"Indica's bonnet and bumper were totally damaged due to the impact. The car skid for 31 feet from the point of impact, marks of which are there on the road. This prima facie suggests that the car was travelling at high speed," said Tyagi. Munde, who was accompanied by Assistant Personal Secretary Surendra Nayar and driver Virendra Kumar in the car, did not stop on the spot and headed straight to the hospital. Kumar later told the police that the Union minister had asked for water after the accident and told them that he should be taken to the hospital before he lost consciousness.
Munde’s driver Virendra Kumar has told investigators that the signal was green when they passed it and there were 26 seconds left before it would have turned red again. Police have registered the FIR on the statement given by Kumar. Interestingly, it was Singh who had made a PCR call at 6.44 am to the police after the accident took place claiming that a car with a red beacon hit his vehicle and fled. He was brought to the Tughlak road police station and as it emerged that it was he who had broken the red light and hit the SX4 car which led to Munde's death, he was arrested. He later confessed to interrogators that he "committed a mistake", according to police.
"He has told us that the Indica car belonged to him. He works for a company which was contracted by a five star hotel at Janpath to provide transportation facility to its guest. “He was going to report for duty when the accident took place. It seems that he was getting late and was speeding to reach on time when he jumped the red light and the accident took place,” said Tyagi.
Gurvinder's car skidded for 31 feet before coming to a halt which means it was travelling at a high speed when the accident took place while there are no skid marks of the SX4, he said. Also, Munde’s car was to Singh's right and in his line of vision clearly suggesting that he was at fault, claimed a senior official associated with the investigation. Police's FSL team will reconstruct the incident to find out the exact circumstances.
A special software of the Delhi Traffic Police will also be used to determine these things, include speed of the vehicles. The crime team of the Delhi Police was also called on the spot to gather crucial evidence.
Image: Union Minister Gopinath Munde's car that was involved in the fatal accident