No relief for ex-DGP, HC reserves verdict - ECAS Punjab

No relief for ex-DGP, HC reserves verdict

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Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 7

Punjab's former Director General of Police (DGP) Sumedh Singh Saini could not get relief from the Punjab and Haryana High Court today in the three-decade-old Multani kidnapping and murder case.

Taking up an anticipatory bail petition and another plea filed by Saini for declaring the probe "non est" and in violation of a Supreme Court judgment, Justice Fateh Deep Singh reserved the verdict in both matters. Saini, for the time being, has no protection from the court in the FIR registered against him on the allegations of illegal abduction, detention, torture and custodial death of Balwant Singh Multani in December 1991.

The bail petition was filed following the addition of murder offence under Section 302 of the IPC to the case. Appearing before the Bench through video-conferencing on Saini's behalf, senior advocate APS Deol and HS Deol primarily argued that he was earlier granted bail in the same case when it was registered for abduction under Section 364 of the IPC. As such, he should be granted anticipatory bail on the addition of Section 302 as it was the same case. He also pressed upon the fact that the FIR registered by the CBI in 2008 for the same incident was set aside by the Supreme Court.

Rebutting the arguments, special public prosecutor SS Narula and senior advocate Sidharth Luthra argued that the investigation was at its initial stage when the accused was granted bail for the offence under Section 364. At that time, hardly any evidence was collected by the special investigation team. As of now, there was sufficient evidence on record for the indictment of Saini in Multani's custodial death.

Narula said his custodial interrogation was required to find out about the police officials involved in the illegal abduction, detention, torture, and disposal of Multani's body. The Bench was also told about a triple murder case going on against Saini in Delhi. Even after his retirement, the CBI's investigating officer had turned hostile. It was added that Saini was also responsible for intimidating a sitting High Court judge.

After hearing arguments for more than four hours, Justice Fateh Deep Singh reserved the verdict, while fixing the case for Tuesday.

from The Tribune

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