High Court of Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh
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Bahadur Singh v. State of Punjab - CRM-49177-M-2006  RD-P&H 12408 (12 December 2006)
Crl. Misc. No. 49177-M of 2006
DATE OF DECISION : 29.11.2006
State of Punjab
CORAM :- HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE SATISH KUMAR MITTAL
Present: Mr. J.S.Bedi, Advocate,
for the petitioner.
Mr. N.S. Gill, AAG, Punjab.
* * *
Petitioner Bahadur Singh has filed this petition under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure for transfer of the investigation in case FIR No. 210 dated 10.7.2004 under Section 302, 34 IPC, registered at Police Station City Nawanshahr to some other independent investigating agency.
2. Brief facts of the case are that on the night of 9/10.7.2004, in village Barnala Kalan, District Nawanshahr, three persons, namely Dr.
Harbhajan Singh, his daughter Gagan aged 22 years and son Rajinder aged 19 years, were brutally murdered by some unidentified persons. On the next day, at about 3.30 P.M., one Puran Singh resident of the village informed the Sarpanch, namely Harprabh Mahal Singh, about the said murders.
Thereupon, the Sarpanch went to the house of deceased Dr. Harbhajan Singh and found that the dead body of Dr. Harbhajan Singh was lying in a pool of blood in the bed room at first floor with face towards the floor.
Towards the left side of the same bed room, the dead body of his daughter Gagan was lying in a pool of blood with face towards the floor and dead body of Rupinder alias Raja son of Dr. Harbhajan Singh was lying towards his old house. All the dead bodies were having injuries caused with sharp edged weapons on the head, cheek and other parts of the body. On the basis of the statement of Harprabh Mahal Singh, the aforesaid FIR was registered and the inquest proceedings were conducted. At the time of inquest proceedings, complainant, Jaspal Singh-nephew of the deceased, Sohan Singh son of Daulat Ram and other villagers were present. Statements of Jaspal Singh and Sohan Singh under Section 175 Cr.P.C. were recorded by the police, in which both of them stated that some unknown person has committed the murder. No specific person was suspected.
3. In this case, initially the investigation was being conducted by Surinder Pal Singh and Gurchetan Singh. When no clue regarding the blind murders was found, a Special Investigating Team (SIT) consisting of SP (D), DSP, Station House Officer, Police Station City Nawanshahr and Incharge CIA Staff, Nawanshahr was constituted by SSP, Nawanshahr. The SIT made enquiries in the village and associated various persons, including Surinder Kaur widow of the deceased and her daughter Amanpreet Kaur.
During the investigation, suspicion was raised towards Bahadur Singh, Surjit Ram and Surinder Kaur on the one hand and Harprabh Mahal Singh Sarpanch, Dhian Singh, Sarwan Singh, Tarsem Singh, Joginder Singh and Kewal Singh on the other hand. But the police could not reach to a definite conclusion regarding the offence. Thereafter, the investigation was handed over to the Crime Branch and under the orders of ADGP (Crimes) dated 18.5.2006, Didar Singh, DSP (Crimes) was authorised to conduct the investigation. After the investigation, he submitted his report, which was sent by ADGP (Crimes) Punjab, Chandigarh, to SSP, Nawanshahr on 1.6.2006, copy of which has been placed on the record of Crl. Misc. No.
29026-M of 2006 (which has been disposed of vide separate order of even date). In the said report, it has been reported that Surinder Kaur was the second wife of deceased Harbhajan Singh. Earlier, she was married with one Jasbir Singh of village Lohtan, Balachaur. After 4/5 months of her first marriage, she divorced her husband. Thereafter, in the month of December, 1997, she married with Dr. Harbhajan Singh. The said marriage was arranged through Bahadur Singh (accused). As per the investigation, Bahadur Singh was having illicit relations with Surinder Kaur and Surjit Ram (another accused) was having illicit relations with Amanpreet Kaur daughter of Surinder Kaur. During the investigation, it was found that Surinder Kaur had given a Zen car of her husband and a scooter to Surjit Ram and Surjit Ram was caught red handed in a compromising position with Amanpreet Kaur from where he was arrested in this case. During investigation, statement of Jaspal Singh son of Joginder Singh, real nephew of the deceased was recorded, in which he stated that his uncle Dr.
Harbhajan Singh was earlier married to Kuldeep Kaur of Nawanshahr and his uncle told him that he was having suspicion regarding the character of his wife Surinder Kaur. He also found that earlier, Dr. Harbhajan Singh and his daughter Gagandeep Kaur (both deceased) were poisoned and they were admitted in the Hospital. After 10-12 days of the said occurrence, they have been murdered. It was also found that on both the occasions, Surinder Kaur and her daughter Amandeep Kaur had gone to Batra Kalan, her parental house. It was also reported by the Investigating Officer Didar Singh that the version given by Surinder Kaur that her husband and children were got killed by Harprabh Mahal Singh, Dhian Singh and Sarwan Singh, due to Gurdwara politics and property dispute, appears to be false and it appears that there is involvement of Surinder Kaur in the murder, because the witness to extra judicial confession, namely Husan Lal also indicated her involvement in the murders. It was further reported that Sarpanch Harprabh Mahal Singh, Dhian Singh and Sarwan Singh are innocent and more evidence is required to be collected against Surjit Ram and Bahadur Singh.
4. In this case, during the investigation, statements of the following witnesses were recorded :
(i) Statement of Husan Lal recorded on 4.5.2006, in which he stated that he had overheard Bahadur Singh and Surjit Ram talking about their illegal relations with Surinder Kaur and Amandeep Kaur, wife and daughter of the deceased Doctor.
The Doctor was an hindrance in their illegal relations, therefore, by hiring criminals, they got murdered the Doctor, his son and daughter.
(ii) Statement of Gurbax Singh recorded on 5.5.2006, before whom Bahadur Singh made extra judicial confession regarding the commission of murders.
(iii) Statement of Jaspal Singh recorded on 8.5.2006, who produced photo copy of letter dated 1.3.2004, allegedly written by the deceased Doctor showing his apprehension from Sarpanch Harprabh Mahal Singh.
(iv) Statement of Teja Singh recorded on 9.5.2006 to the effect that on the asking of Harprabh Mahal Singh, Dhian Singh and Kewal Singh, he went to meet Nihang Ajit Singh Phoola, but he did not come.
(v) Statement of Amarjit Singh recorded on 9.5.2006 to the effect that there was a dispute regarding the Gurdwara affairs between Sarpanch Harprabh Mahal Singh party and the deceased Doctor and the Sarpanch had threatened the doctor party and he had a strong belief against Sarpanch Harprabh Mahal singh and Dhian Singh for committing the crime.
(vi) Statement of Sohan Singh recorded on 29.7.2006, before whom accused Dhian Singh is alleged to have made extra judicial confession regarding the murder of Doctor and his children.
5. Sohan Singh is Clerk of Mr. J.D. Jain, Advocate, who is appearing on behalf of Surinder Kaur and is contesting the case against Harprabh Mahal Singh and Dhian Singh. He was also present at the time of preparation of the inquest report. As per the prosecution version, he had written a letter dated 1.3.2004 on the asking of the deceased doctor, yet for more than two years, he kept silent. His statement was recorded after the arrest of Dhian Singh.
6. From the investigation conducted by the various agencies, it appears that the investigating agencies have investigated the matter on two theories. According to one theory, accused Bahadur Singh and Surjit Ram appear to have committed the crime with the aid of hired killers, as during the investigation, it was found that Surinder Kaur, the second wife of deceased Harbhajan Singh, was having illicit relations with accused Bahadur Singh and her daughter Amandeep Kaur was also having illicit relations with accused Surjit Ram. It has also come in evidence that Surinder Kaur had given a Zen car and scooter to accused Surjit Ram and Surjit Ram was arrested, when he was caught red handed in a compromising position with Amanpreet Kaur. The witness Jaspal Singh, who is nephew of the deceased, also raised suspicion against Surinder Kaur being involved in the crime. Bahadur Singh also made extra judicial confession and the statement of Husan was also recorded in this regard.
7. The second theory, on which the police has investigated the matter, is that Harprabh Mahal Singh, Sarpanch of the village, Dhian singh son of Karam Singh, Sarwan Singh, Tarsem Singh, Joginder Singh and Kewal Singh are the suspected accused due to the dispute between them and the deceased Harbhajan Singh with regard to the Gurdwara in the village.
They are alleged to have hired the professional killers and got murdered the aforesaid three persons. In this regard, the investigating agency is relying upon the statement of Teja Singh, Jaspal Singh, Amarjit Singh alias Lallu and Swaran Singh. On 29.7.2006, statement of one Sohan Singh Clerk to Shri J.D. Jain, Advocate, who was counsel of Surinder Kaur was recorded by the police, in which it was alleged that accused Dhian Singh made extra judicial confession before him. Dhian Singh told Sohan Singh that he and Harprabh Mahal Singh Sarpanch had committed the murder of Dr.
Harbhajan Singh, his daughter and his son due to the dispute between them and the deceased with regard to the Gurdwara management in the village.
The said extra judicial confession was made before him on 23.4.2006, but was recorded by the police on 29.7.2006. Another statement of Teja Singh Nihang was recorded, who stated that there was some dispute between the deceased and Dhian Singh and Sarpanch Harprabh Mahal Singh, but this witness did not state that the said murders have been committed by these persons. Another statement of Amarjit Singh alias Lallu son of Puran Singh, a resident of the village, was recorded by the police, who stated that there was a dispute between Dhian Singh and party with the deceased, and the Sarpanch party had threatened the deceased party. It was further stated that in July, 2004, Harprabh Mahal Singh Sarpanch and Dhian Singh came to him and told that they will teach a lesson to Doctor Harbhajan Singh, because he is creating obstacles in the affairs of the Gurdwara. In the statement, it was stated by this witness that he had belief that the aforesaid triple murder has been committed by Sarpanch Harprabh Mahal Singh and Dhian Singh. The police recorded statement of Jaspal singh alias Jassi, who is alleged to have handed over an application written by Dr. Harbhajan Singh against Harbhajan Singh Sarpanch and Dhian Singh, in which it was mentioned that due to the Gurdwara politics, these persons were threatening the deceased.
8. In the enquiry conducted by DSP (Crime), it was found that Sarpanch Harbhajan Singh Mahal, Dhian Singh and Sarwan Singh have been falsely implicated in the alleged offence due to the village politics.
However, it was observed that during the enquiry, it revealed that Surinder Kaur widow of deceased Harbhajan Singh had developed illicit relations with Bahadur Singh even prior to her marriage. The marriage of Surinder Kaur with the deceased was contacted through Bahadur Singh. He was also associated in her divorce with her previous husband. Even after the marriage, the illicit relations continued between them and the deceased had become aware of it. It was also found that during the said period, Surjit Ram developed illicit relations with Amandeep Kaur, about which Dr. Harbhajan Singh felt bad. It was found that Bahadur Singh petitioner and Surjit Ram in order to facilitate their affairs firstly tried to kill Harbhajan Singh and his daughter by poisoning them and subsequently, they got killed three persons of the family. It was further found that involvement of Surinder Kaur in the occurrence cannot be ruled out.
9. In this case, the report of DSP (Crimes) has not been approved by SSP and challan has been filed against Bahadur Singh, Dhian Singh and Surjit Ram. In the challan, it has been stated that as far as the other accused are concerned, sufficient evidence has not been collected against them and the investigation is still going on. Therefore, they have been kept in column No.2.
10. After hearing counsel for the parties and going through the various documents, including the statements of various persons, recorded during the investigation, as well as the enquiry report submitted by DSP (Crimes), I am of the opinion that the local police has not conducted the investigation in this case properly and fairly. Three persons have been brutally murdered in the house on the night of 9/10.7.2004. Till June, 2006, there was no progress in the investigation and suddenly, on the basis of statements of few persons, three persons were arrested and some more were suspected to be involved in the crime. Ultimately, on 3/4.8.2006, challan was presented against three persons and others suspected persons were kept in column No.2. The investigation has been conducted by different officers.
Their investigations are contradictory. The police has filed challan against two sets of accused on two different theories. Both the sets of accused have been found to have engaged professional killers for the murder of Dr.
Harbhajan Singh and his family. But it is not clear that which of the group killed the family. In spite of the strong suspicion raised by DSP (Crimes) against Surinder Kaur, wife of the deceased, no investigation appears to have been conducted in that direction. Challan has been filed against Bahadur Singh and Surjit Ram on the allegation that they were having illicit relations with Surinder Kaur and her daughter Amandeep Kaur and the deceased Doctor was hindrance in their illegal relations, therefore, by hiring professionals, they got murdered the Doctor and his family, but at no stage, Surinder Kaur was interrogated, as admitted by the State Counsel. From the report, it appears that from the side of both the accused, different applications/objections are being filed. Each set of accused is levelling allegations against the other set and the police has submitted challan against both the sets of accused. In my opinion, these facts show that the investigation has not been properly conducted in this case. In the facts and circumstances of the case, I am not satisfied with the investigation conducted by the Punjab Police in this triple murder case. Three persons were brutally murdered on the night of 9/10.7.2004 and the investigation has not been concluded till date. As per the challan itself, the investigation is still going on. In these circumstances, without further explaining in detail, as it will prejudice the fair investigation, I am of the opinion that in the interest of justice, investigation of this case is required to be handed over to Central Bureau of Investigation.
11. In view of the above, this petition is allowed and investigation of case FIR No. 210 dated 10.7.2004 under Section 302, 34 IPC, registered at Police Station City Nawanshahr is transferred to the Central Bureau of Investigation.
12. A copy of this order be sent to the Superintendent of Police, Central Bureau of Investigation, Sector 30, Chandigarh, with a direction to complete the investigation in the case expeditiously and preferably, within a period of four months from the date of receipt of this order.
November 29, 2006 ( SATISH KUMAR MITTAL ) ndj JUDGE
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