Wednesday, November 1, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Suicide by farmer
Punseed Chairman booked
Tribune News Service

GIDDERBAHA, Oct 31 — Mr Ashok Dheer, Chairman, Punjab State Seed Corporation (Punseed) and a close confidant of Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, has been booked under Sections 306 and 34 of IPC by the Lambi police for allegedly forcing a farmer of Muktsar district to commit suicide.

Police sources said that Mr Dheer, who was former president of the local municipal council, was booked on the basis of a suicide note recovered from the body of deceased.

The deceased, Hardev Singh of Dhaula village was found dead in his fields on October 28. A suicide note recovered from him reportedly stated that Mr Dheer and Mr Gamdur Singh were responsible for his death.

Police sources said Hardev Singh consumed celphos tablets when he came to know that his piece of agriculture land was transferred to his enemy, Gamdur Singh in lieu of loan which he had taken from Mr Dheer.

However, Mr Dheer, when contacted, said he had no connection with Hardev Singh.

He added that Hardev Singh owed no money to him.

He claimed the case was registered against him despite the fact that his name did not figure in the suicide note.

Police sources added that in lieu of money, Mr Dheer made the deceased to sell the land to Sukhwinder Singh of Dhaula village. Later, Sukhwinder Singh transferred that land to Gamdur Singh with whom the deceased was reportedly having personal enmity.Back


SC reserves order in Veerappan case
From Our Legal Correspondent

NEW DELHI, Oct 31—The Supreme Court today reserved its judgement in the Veerappan case while expressing its disapproval of the decisions of the governments of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu to withdraw charges against the associates of the forest brigand and their inaction in apprehending the latter during the previous 10 years.

The Bench comprising Mr Justice S.P.Bharucha,MrJustice D.P.Mohapatra and Mr Justice Y.K. Sabharwal, expressing their anguish over Veerappan being at large and remaining in association with terrorists, said, “Our prime facie conclusion is that both the states have acted in panic.”

“We are expressing our anguish over all this only as citizens and judges. However, we are not going into all this and the state policy in this regard,” the judges added and pointed out that the issue before them was whether the applications of public prosecutors of both the states before the designated courts were in compliance with Section 321 of the CrPC dealing with withdrawal of prosecution against the 51 accused associates of Veerappan in Karnataka and the five accused in the judges stated that it was also to be examined whether allowing of withdrawal of TADA charges by the lower courts against the accused concerned was valid or not. They also expressed concern over the decisions of both the governments to release the accused who were charged with such grave offences. The judges came down heavily on the Karnataka Government for misleading them over the fact that Veerappan was not one among the 125 TADA accused against whom the charges were being withdrawn. “Veerappan is accused no 1. How could you say that you were not withdrawing TADA charges against him”,Mr Justice Bharucha asked the state counsel.

However, the Solicitor-General, Mr Harish Salve, told the court that he did not support that perception and his understanding was that the charges against Veerappan were not being withdrawn. Earlier, the court rejected the plea of Additional Solicitor-General,Mr Kirit Rawal, appearing for the Centre, that it should direct both the state governments to reconsider and re-examine their decisions. However, he supported the actions of both the states to secure the release of Rajkumar and submitted that there was nothing unconstitutional about them.

Mr Rawal contended that the court should be circumspect in considering matters concerning security and the functioning of the state. He said that in a federal set-up the Centre would act when the state governments requested it. In an extraordinary situation when the state acted the court should be circumspect.

At this stage,Mr Justice Bharucha said, “What bothers us is that there is a nucleus of small pocket of territory wherein the states cannot enter. If it is so, it goes further than law and order. One is seeing the birth of an independent state and a foreign state within the country. Will you still not act?”

The Veerappan case came before the Supreme Court by way of appeal by a retired Superintendent of Police, Abdul Karim, whose only son Shakeel Ahmed was among the 28 police officials gunned down by Veerappan and his men in 1993, against the decisions of the Karnataka and Tamil Nadu state governments to withdraw charges and release the accused associates of Veerappan and the orders of the designated courts permitting the same on request.

Thereafter, a batch of public interest litigations were filed—some of them on behalf of the accused detainees. However, the apex court entertained only two of them, one by Dr B.L. Wadehra and the other by Mr Adarsh Ganesh,both advocates. 

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