Can sacrilege probe officer be replaced, High Court asks Punjab state - ECAS Punjab

Can sacrilege probe officer be replaced, High Court asks Punjab state

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Saurabh Malik

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 27

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has asked the Punjab Government to specify whether it is willing to substitute IG Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh with some other officer as a member of the special investigation team (SIT) constituted to probe the 2015 sacrilege and police firing cases following allegations of bias against him.

The HC also directed that a supplementary report under the provisions of Section 173(8) of the CrPC would not be submitted by the “presently constituted” SIT “till the next date of hearing only and specifically at this stage”. The Bench, at the same time, made it clear that the investigation may go on. The direction was subject to further orders.

The query and the direction by Justice Amol Rattan Singh came during the hearing of a petition filed against the State of Punjab and other respondents by Sub-Inspector Gurdeep Singh through senior advocate RS Cheema and Arshdeep Singh Cheema.

Appearing before the Bench through video-conferencing, the senior advocate among other things contended that Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh was biased against the petitioner. Elaborating, he contended that the petitioner was threatened at his instance to withdraw another petition filed by him last year for quashing an FIR registered on August 7, 2018, at the Kotkapura city police station. Directions for a proper investigation in another FIR registered on October 14, 2015, at the same police station were also sought by him. Both cases relate to the sacrilege incidents.

Taking a note of the allegations, Justice Amol Rattan Singh asserted: “Without making any comment on the correctness, or otherwise, on the contentions, a query has been put by this court to Harin P Rawal, senior counsel appearing for the respondent State as also for the DGP, Punjab, as to whether, in view of the serious allegations being made, the State would be willing to substitute the respondent officer with some other officer to be part of /head of the SIT constituted to investigate into FIR number 130 dated October 21, 2015, registered at police station Bajakhana, District Faridkot, or not.” He said the query was being put even though a notice was yet to be issued on the petition; and the State and the DGP were not on caveat. Formally issuing notice of motion to them, the Bench also fixed the case for October first week.



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