Giving a clean chit to Punjab cabinet minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, the probe official exempted him from appearing before the magisterial inquiry being conducted into the last month's train tragedy near Joda Phatak here in which about 60 people were killed.
Jalandhar Divisional Commissioner B Purushartha is conducting the inquiry into the October 19 Amritsar rail tragedy.
Giving a clean chit to Sidhu, Purushartha told reporters here that the commission was satisfied by the reply given by the minister in a letter through his wife Navjot Kaur Sidhu and he has been exempted from appearing before the panel.
On October 31, the inquiry commission had asked the Sidhu couple to appear before it to record their statement.
"Commission is satisfied with the written viewpoint submitted by Sidhu," Purushartha said.
He said Navjot Kaur Sidhu was asked many questions about the train accident and Dussehra function which she had attended as a chief guest.
The Divisional Commissioner said that her replies before the panel were satisfactory.
He, however, said that in future if the need arose Kaur could be asked to come again before the commission.
When Navjot Kaur was asked about the absence of her husband, she said that he could not come up due to various political engagements. "At the time of the accident he was not in the city but was in Bengaluru," she told reporters.
After the train incident, Opposition had trained guns at Navjot Kaur claiming she ran away from the spot, a charge vehemently denied by the former legislator.
Purushartha said that so far statements of Divisional Manager Northern Railway Ferozpur, Vivek Kumar and Divisional Security officer of Railway, Dayanand, driver and assistant driver of the train have been recorded.
Six other railway employees were also summoned for the statement, including Gateman and Railway Protection Force officials, he said, adding that drivers of all the trains who were on duty and moved on the same track when the accident occurred on October 19 would also be summoned to gather more evidence.
He assured that person or any official accountable for the train accident would not be spared at any cost.
The commission had also recorded the statements of more than fifty-one victims, including their family members.
During investigations, Purushartha had earlier along with senior police officers, including DCP Amrik Singh Powar and Deputy Commissioner Kamaljeet Singh Sangha, had visited the accident spot to verify certain issues on different aspects. The team had also visited Gateman cabin and noticed the trains speed which was running on the track, officials said.
About 60 people were killed and 57 injured after a crowd of Dussehra revellers that had spilt onto railway tracks while watching the burning of Ravana effigy was run over by a train near Joda Phatak here.
(With inputs from agencies.)