Saturday, June 10, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Death of Harpreet Kaur
High Court orders CBI probe
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 9 Directing the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to conduct an investigation into the circumstances leading to the death of SGPC chief Bibi Jagir Kaur's daughter, Harpreet Kaur, Mr Justice Amarbir Singh Gill of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today ordered the completion of the inquiry within four months from receiving the copy of the judgement.

Pronouncing the orders in the open court, Mr Justice Gill also ordered "necessary police protection" to the petitioner, Mr Kamaljit Singh. The continuation of an earlier order extending protection to "the life and limb" of the petitioner's family was also ordered.

The Judge observed: "The Superintendent of Police, CBI, Chandigarh, is hereby directed to proceed with the investigation and in case the same is found to be the result of commission of an offence, the guilty should be brought to book".

In his detailed judgement, Mr Justice Gill also asked the Punjab Inspector-General of Police (Crimes), Mr K.K. Attri, to hand over "all the material collected so far by the inquiry team" to the CBI's SP.

Mr Justice Gill further directed the handing over of the sealed parcel containing the video tape and true copies of the affidavits "filed by the respective parties" to the premier investigating agency .

Petitioner Kamaljit Singh too was directed "to make full disclosure of the facts and produce each and every material in his possession in respect of his allegations to the SP CBI".

He had earlier sought directions for handing over the probe to an independent agency like the CBI and registering a case "against all those found responsible for causing Harpreet Kaur and her child's death". Directions for fixing responsibility on persons involved in the "disappearance of evidence" had also been sought.

He had alleged that "on account of political power and influence wielded by Bibi Jagir Kaur, the case relating to Harpreet Kaur and her child's death would be hushed up and all those responsible for the same would not be touched". He had further added that the facts and circumstances "clearly indicated that efforts were being made to hush up the case".

Mr Kamaljit Singh's counsel had contended on his behalf that no one was above the law and investigation must be held into the factors leading to Harpreet Kaur's death.

The State Government, he had added, had conceded in their reply that Harpreet Kaur was engaged to Mr Kamaljit Singh and was also pregnant. He had also added that the police was working to destroy evidence.

Opposing the plea, the Punjab Advocate-General had stated that the enquiry was in progress and all directions issued by the Court were being complied with.

Claiming to have examined "everyone who had been named by Harpreet Kaur's husband Kamaljit Singh", the AG had further stated that 36 doctors and mid-wives had also been examined. In all, 118 statements had been recorded, the AG had added.

Blaming the petitioner for not cooperating with the investigation, the AG had also stated that the Court should ask Kamaljit Singh to join the enquiry. He had also assured the Court that "no harm would come to the petitioner".

He had stated that the petitioner had moved the High Court "without taking steps under the Criminal Procedure Code". The Station House Officer or the Senior Superintendent of Police had not been approached. He had added that the petitioner also had the option of filing a complaint case before the Magistrate.

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