Wednesday, April 25, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

HC acquits Talwandi’s son
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 24
In a complete reversal of events, Ranjit Singh, son of SGPC chief J. S. Talwandi, sentenced to life imprisonment in a 1996 murder case, was acquitted by a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court here today.

The Bench, comprising Mr Justice H. S. Bedi and Mr Justice A. S. Garg, also acquitted two others accused in the case.

The appeal filed by four other accused was, however, dismissed.

Ranjit Singh, along with other accused, was convicted by Ludhiana’s Additional District and Sessions Judge on July 20, 1999.

The first information report in the case was registered under Sections 302, 325, 324, 323, 148 and 149 of the Indian Penal Code on December 24, 1996, following the death of Chamkaur Singh.

According to the prosecution, accused Jit Singh had snatched a rifle from a gunman and had fired at the victim after being told by Ranjit Singh to “kill as many persons as he wanted to”.

Ranjit Singh had reached the scene of crime along with his father’s gunmen while Jit Singh, Gurmit Singh and Kulwant Singh were quarrelling with Chamkaur Singh, Sohail Singh and Maghar Singh, the prosecution had claimed.

The motive behind the attack was the use of a passage on the shamlat land in the village, the prosecution had asserted. Gurmit Singh, Kulwant Singh and Jit Singh were preventing Sohail Singh, Hardev Singh and others from using the passage, they had added.

When confronted with the incriminating evidence against him, Ranjit Singh denied all the allegations against him. Claiming to be innocent, he asked for a trial.

After hearing arguments, the Additional Sessions Judge had observed that the prosecution had succeeded in proving its case against the accused beyond a shadow of doubt.

In their appeal against the orders in the high court, the accused had stated that the trial Judge had erred in placing reliance upon prosecution evidence.

LUDHIANA: Mr Ranjit Singh Talwandi, son of Jathedar Jagdev Singh Talwandi, President, SGPC, was released from Central Jail here on Tuesday night on the receipt of acquittal orders from the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

A large number of supporters of Jathedar Talwandi and villagers had collected outside the jail on the Tajpura road gave him a warm welcome.

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