Probe into swapping of bodies underway: Punjab to High Court - ECAS Punjab

Probe into swapping of bodies underway: Punjab to High Court

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Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 29

Just about 10 days after two brothers alleged that the body handed over to them after their father's purported Covid death was actually that of a woman, a Subdivisional Magistrate (SDM) has been asked to hold an inquiry into the swapping of the bodies.

As the case came up for resumed hearing before Justice Harnaresh Singh Gill's Bench, the state counsel submitted that an SDM was conducting the inquiry into "the swapping of Pritam Singh's body with that of Padma and the inquiry was handed over to the officer on July 19" even before the petition was taken up for the first time by the High Court.

"Let the state inform this court regarding the proceedings initiated by the inquiry officer on the next date of hearing," Justice Gill asserted, while fixing the case for August 7.

The Bench, on the previous date of hearing, was told that the last remains of the deceased, Pritam Singh, were collected by the district administration and kept in safe custody at a crematorium.

The Bench also took note of the fact that the counsels for both parties had sought time to explore the feasibility of DNA examination of the cremated remains to ascertain identity of the deceased.

The matter was brought to the High Court's notice after a petition was filed by Gurcharanjit Singh and another petitioner. Among other things, it was contended by the petitioners that their father Pritam Singh was diagnosed Covid-positive on July 1.

The next day he was admitted to Rayat Bahra University (Covid Isolation Centre) at Hoshiarpur. But he was shifted to Guru Nanak Dev Hospital, Amritsar, on July 5. The Bench was also told that one of the brothers was also admitted to the same ward.

"On July 18, a message was received that the petitioners' father has breathed his last on July 17 on 11 pm. The petitioners received the mortal remains alleged to be that of their father at Mukerian, which was transported in an ambulance. However, the mortal remains were found to be that of a woman..." it was added.

from The Tribune

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