Kotkapura Case – Proceedings Against All Accused Dropped
The Punjab and Haryana High Court not only gave former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal a clean chit in the Kotkapura firing case but also ruled that the conclusion of the police firing without provocation was contrary to the record.
In his 89-page judgment released on Friday, Judge Rajbir Sehrawat ruled that the conversation between a chief minister with the district administration or the state’s DGP. During this disturbed public order situation was not sufficient to infer a plot to kill or injure someone by police shooting at protesters. Unless other elements have been gathered by the investigator to establish a prior agreement on the plot and directly link the CM to it. Even before starting the investigation in FIR No.192 dated October 14, 2015, he declared police firing was totally ‘unprovoked’ and the protests ‘peaceful’.
The petitioners have successfully shown that he went so far as to fabricate witness statements based on his designs. The witness statement and the information gathered turned out to be totally contrary to the conclusions drawn by him.
He intended to create a narrative in favor of a political party against the other during the election process. Public pressure to get alleged erring police officials convicted also appeared to have adversely affected the fairness of the investigation.
The High Court of Punjab and Haryana having quashed all indictments filed by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) led by former Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh in this case, a Faridkot trial court ruled on Kotkapura’s firing in 2015. the case and dropped the charges against all defendants.
From now on, a new legal procedure would be initiated after the filing of new charges. The defendants have not been acquitted as no charges have been brought against them so far, the Hindustan Times reported.
Six former active police officers, including the former Director-General of the Punjab Police (DGP) Sumedh Singh Saini and the Ex IGP Paramraj Singh Umranangal, and the former deputy of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) Mantar Singh Brar have been appointed as accused in this case.
Defense attorney filed a request for a discontinuance of the proceedings, citing the overturning of the SIT indictments by the High Court. District Judge and Additional Sessions Harbans Singh Lekhi also acquitted the bail submitted by the accused.
“A dossier has been sent to the ilaqa magistrate to proceed with the case further in accordance with the law,” Lekhi said.
The court adjourned the hearing in the Behbal Kalan firing case to May 18 after the defense attorney claimed the defendant also filed a lawsuit in the High Court asking for the acts to be set aside. the accusation of SIT in the episode.
Regarding the allegations against Badals, the ordinance noted
“This court does not understand how and why a purely religious issue, which has been dealt with by the main religious leaders of the Sikhs, was raised by respondent no. 3 (Kunwar). The surprising thing is; that even after making efforts to uncover and establish the allegation of conspiracy against Prakash Singh Badal and Sukhbir Singh Badal. Despite the mention of their names in the indictment and the recording therein that their conspiracy is established, respondent no. 3 has not classified them as accused by filing an indictment against them in these two FIRs, so far.”
The court noted that “the fact that respondent no. 3 went so far as to give an interview to a TV station during the high period of the electoral process, shows only one thing that the present investigation has been kept by respondent 3 as a political horse to be whipped only at one time opportune, whenever the election is approaching or it is convenient for it.”
Destroying the records of the details of the appeals then involving Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, then DGP Sumedh Singh Saini, the local political representative (MLA) and the district administration, and calling him “another aspect to highlight a hypothetical approach “from Kunwar, the court observed:” However, in the considered opinion of this court, the mere brief of a chief minister speaking to the district administration or state DGP in a situation where public order is disturbed, per se, would not be sufficient to infer his plot to kill or injure someone by police shooting at protesters, unless the investigator has gathered evidence.
Deep investigation in the Kotkapura firing case
IG Paramraj Singh Umranangal, through his lawyer, also claimed responsibility by filing two separate claims in the Faridkot court. In addition, he also inquired about the status of two FIRs in the Kotkapura firing case.
During the court hearing, there was no clear evidence to prove the allegations against the accused, so the case was dropped.