DGP Prateep Philip allowed to wear cap, badge marked as ‘evidence’ in Rajiv Gandhi assassination case

Mr. Prateep, as Assistant SP, had miraculously survived the human bomb blast on that fateful night in Sriperumbudur on May 21, 1991

IPS officer Prateep V. Philip, who on Thursday retired as Director General of Police, Training, was permitted by a court to temporarily take possession of his bloodstained cap and name badge, which were marked as material objects in the former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.

Mr. Prateep, as Assistant SP, had miraculously survived the human bomb blast on that fateful night in Sriperumbudur on May 21, 1991. In the impact of the blast, he had sustained injuries and his cap and name badge had fallen off. They were collected by the Special Investigation Team as part of evidence from the scene of the crime. They remained in the custody of the trial court since then.

A few days ahead of his retirement, a petition was filed on behalf of Mr. Prateep before the First Additional Sessions Court seeking to allow him to take possession of the cap and name badge. The trial court concluded the trial in the assassination case and pronounced judgment on January 28, 1998. The convicted persons and the respondent in the case have exhausted all their appeals and all the material evidence and objects available with the Special Investigation Team are no longer required to be preserved, said the petition.

Sanjay Pinto, counsel for Mr. Prateep said the petitioner who faced a near death experience in the line of duty, wished to take back his blood-stained cap and name badge which were his personal belongings and were of immense sentimental value, a reminder of the call of duty during his formative years in the service of the nation and quite literally symbolise his blood, sweat and tears over 34 years of his professional career.

First Additional Sessions Judge T. Chandrasekaran on September 28 allowed the petition of Mr. Prateep and ordered the return of his cap and name badge for his interim custody on execution of own bond for ₹1 lakh. The court said they should be handed over to the court on or before October 28 after the purpose gets served.

Mr. Prateep was a 1987-batch officer and also a recipient of the Prime Minister’s medal for Meritorious Service in 2003 and the President’s medal for Distinguished Service in 2012. He is the founder of the Friends of Police concept in India, which won him the coveted Queen’s Award in 2002.

In his 34 year-career, he held several sensitive posts. He was given farewell at Rajarathinam stadium by the officers and personnel led by DGP C. Sylendra Babu and a ceremonial parade was also conducted.

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