M A I N   N E W S

Haryana cops jail 3 for a murder that wasn’t
NHRC orders govt to give victims Rs 5 lakh each
Aditi Tandon/TNS

New Delhi, June 16
This one appears straight out of a Bollywood thriller. The National Human Rights Commission yesterday came to the rescue of three persons serving a jail term for a murder that never happened, although Haryana policemen believed just the opposite to be true.

The story goes back to April 22 last year when the decomposed body of a man was recovered from a canal in Palwal. The PAN card and identity documents found at the site indicated that the dead man was Sohan Lal, which was corroborated later by his brother and father.

The police “cracked” the case with miraculous speed, pinning the murder on Sohan Lal’s wife Lakshmi, her paramour Jal Singh and the latter’s father, Inder Singh. The trio maintained that they had not committed the crime, but were sent to jail nevertheless. Their “sin”: Lakshmi and Jal Singh were having an alleged illicit affair.

The case came to NHRC’s notice recently and the commission called for the files that revealed how Sohan Lal was actually alive and that the Haryana Police had arrested three innocent people on charges of murder.

In the entire game, Sohan Lal got the better of everyone. He successfully faked his own murder by planting his identity documents on the body of a man he chose to kill.

Having killed an unknown man, Sohan Lal had eloped with his minor sister-in-law only to be traced later in Okhla by the Delhi Police. He ended up in Tihar Jail.

When the puzzle was finally pieced together, it was found that Sohan Lal was indeed alive and had faked the murder to teach his wife a lesson for having an extramarital affair.

The police had not used scientific methods to determine the dead man’s identity. Thanks to the police apathy, the “accused” spent two months in jail for a crime that did not happen. Taking up the case, the NHRC yesterday directed the Haryana Government to pay within eight weeks Rs 5 lakh to each to the three victims of the false murder charges.

“A compliance report along with proof of payment within the same period has been sought from the State Chief Secretary,” the commission said, terming the case as a “peculiar case of human rights violation of innocent people, namely, Inder, Jal Singh and Laxmi.”

The case was cracked by the Delhi Police and Sohan Lal later confessed how he had killed an unknown man and defaced his body with the help of his friends.

“No amount of monetary compensation is sufficient to mitigate the trauma and agony suffered by three innocent persons on account of the criminal case filed against them and also for their incarceration in jail for more than two months,” the commission noted.

It also directed the Haryana DGP to submit the status of the criminal case filed against Sohan Lal and others within six weeks.

faking Own murder

  • April 22, 2011: The Decomposed body of a man recovered from a canal in Palwal. Documents found at the site identify the body as that of Sohan Lal
  • Police pin the murder on Sohan Lal’s wife, Lakshmi, her paramour Jal Singh and the latter’s father, Inder Singh
  • NHRC finds that Sohan Lal was, in fact, alive and had faked his own murder to teach his wife a lesson for having an extramarital affair





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