Easy legal investigation became concoction of faith, politics and police administration, says HC

Saurabh Malik
Today News Online Service
Chandigarh, April 23

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has ruled that a simple crime probe in the Kotkapura firing case was made to worsen and translate itself to a mire where every person concerned found himself trapped, resulting in a dangerous concoction of religion, politics and the police administration.

“What could have been simple investigation of a crime committed either by the protestors or by the police or by both, was made to fester and convert itself to a quagmire wherein every person concerned found himself entrapped. It resulted from dangerous mixing of religion, politics and the police administration. As such, the aggrieved — whether the police persons or the injured protestors must be finding themselves cheated and endlessly waiting for real justice,” Justice Rajbir Sehrawat ruled.

The Bench added the investigation conducted by IPS officer Kunwar Vijay Partap Singh suffered from malice, irrationality and absurdity. As such, it was one of the rare cases where the Court was under duty to step-in and quash the investigation and consequent report under section 173 CrPC filed in the two cases related to the incident.

The Bench ruled Kunwar was a person who indulged in misuse of his official position to further his designs. He made attempt to over-awe the processes and the authority, indulged in theatrics and political maneuvering to draw mileage out of it.

He went to the height of fantasy when he brought film actor Akshay Kumar into the picture. Even the religious act of alleged pardon of Dera Sacha Sauda, Sirsa, was brought into the picture to strengthen his hypotheses of conspiracy against Parkash Singh Badal and Sukhbir Singh Badal. But he could not collect any material. “This Court fails to understand how and why a purely religious issue, dealt with by top religious leaders of Sikhs, was brought into picture by him.”

The Bench asserted it was surprising that even after making effort to find out and establish allegation of conspiracy against the Badals, mentioning their names in the charge sheet and recording that their conspiracy was established, Kunwar did not array them as accused. He kept the present investigation a political horse to be flogged only at an opportune time — whenever the elections were around the corner or when it otherwise suited him. “The only possible fact which prevents filing charge-sheet against these two leaders can be that there is no evidence against both of them”.

His conduct and methodology substantiated the allegations that he was acting with an intention to further a political agenda and was not carrying out a comprehensive and impartial investigation.

The ruling

*Documents on record showed Kunwar had a tendency of misusing official position and authority. He accepted his conduct to bulldoze, deviate the process, and make an attempt to overawe the judicial process.

*Enraged by a Chief Judicial Magistrate’s order granting only a day’s remand, he strangely wrote a letter to Faridkot District and Sessions Judge on the ‘administrative side’ alleging close family linkage of the officer with Parkash Singh Badal.

*He could not have written any letter on ‘administrative side’. The mischief was only to pressurize the Courts at Faridkot and to overawe the judicial process. “The then District and Sessions Judge also owes an explanation as to how he entertained a letter written on administrative side on this aspect.

*Kunwar does not hesitate in using his position and capacity even for purposes motivated politically. When parliamentary elections were on, he named leaders of a party rival to political dispensation heading the current government. He knew such an interview would enhance political prospects for one political party and damage that of another.

*He acted under political patronage for a political purpose. The State government did not remove him from the investigation despite Election Commission orders.

*The political party heading the present government and its cabinet ministers wrote letters to the ECI for revoking the order. “This shows the close nexus between the politics, the respondent and the investigation being carried out by him”.

*There was nothing in challan or otherwise on record to show that the other SIT members ever approved the challan before it was filed or had ever authorized him to file the same on behalf of the SIT.

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