Saturday, August 4, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Life term for Bhullar
Tribune News Service

Patiala, August 3
Punjab Additional Director General of Police Daljit Singh Bhullar and three others, including an Assistant Sub Inspector, were today awarded life imprisonment in the triple murder case of non-resident Indian and a business partner of the Bhullar family, Dr Paramjit Singh Sahota, and two others in September 1996 by a local court.

The sentence was pronounced by District and Sessions Judge S.N. Aggarwal in a jam-packed court after he exempted the ADGP, presently posted as ADGP, Vigilance in Punjab State Electricity Board, from personal appearance in the case as he has been admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) of Government Rajindra Hospital here. The others who were awarded life imprisonment in the case were erstwhile business partners of Dr Sahota — Agyapal Singh and Ladwinder Singh, and ASI Krishan Kumar who was then posted with the ADGP.

Though the case involved the brutal murder and burning of the bodies of the victims, including Satnam Singh, a brother of Dr Sahota, and the car driver Vikram Chand, there was a sigh of relief among the well wishers of the ADGP and the other accused when the judge said he did not find the case among the rarest of the rare deserving a death sentence and that he was sentencing all accused to life imprisonment.

Earlier, the judge announced that all four accused would serve life imprisonment for the murder of Dr Sahota and others. He also awarded them two years’ rigorous imprisonment under Section 201 for destroying the dead bodies of the victims, six months’ rigorous imprisonment under Section 435 for burning the car and one year rigorous imprisonment under Section 467 of forgery of documents to take control of the companies in which they were partners with Dr Sahota. The judge ordered that all sentences would run concurrently while announcing that Rs 30,000 collected through fine from the accused would be given to the heir of Vikram Chand, the driver of the car Dr Sahota had hired to visit his factory in Mohali from Delhi.

Immediately after the sentence was announced, Agyapal Singh appealed to the judge that they had been in jail for four years and eight months during which they had a good track record and that they should be given B class facilities during their sentence. The judge conferred with CBI counsel H.K. Handa who said there was no such provision in the jail manual once rigorous imprisonment was awarded to an accused. However, Mr Aggarwal said he would inspect the jail tomorrow and meet the Jail Superintendent and consider their request accordingly.

Following the announcement of the sentence, the accused were whisked away from the court from a side door giving the slip to news photographers and TV teams waiting outside. Defence lawyer P. R. Yadav who was the defence counsel for the accused, said he would appeal against the order.

The triple murder case came to light when the bodies of the three victims were found from a car which had been set on fire at Gagar Majra village near Khanna in September, 1996. Following this a case was registered at the sadar police station in Khanna. When the CBI was handed over the case it got another case registered at the central police station at Mohali as it claimed that the victims had been killed in a house there.

The CBI had claimed that only the accused could benefit from the death of Dr Sahota as he was a partner of the ADGP and others in the companies — Gabor Halographics in Delhi and V.S. Illusions Private Limited in Mohali and that the accused were facing problems in taking over control of the companies as Dr Sahota was the only person who was conversant with the technical know-how of the project.


Action against Bhullar after ‘studying report’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 3
The Punjab Government will study a copy of the order of the District and Sessions Judge before initiating any action against Additional Director-General of Police Daljit Singh Bhullar, who after conviction in a triple murder case, has been sentenced to life imprisonment, today. The Punjab Chief Secretary, Mr N.K. Arora, said the Home Department would initiate action against the ADGP as per rules in the light of the recent Supreme Court verdict about convicts in government service.

The Home Secretary, Mr Bikramjit Singh, said a copy of the order was expected by Monday. An action would be taken after the conviction and sentence orders have been studied.

The sources maintained that under no circumstances the convicted ADGP would be allowed to continue in service even if an appeal against sentence is made. “As long as conviction stands, the minimum the government could do was to suspend him for the appeal period before taking a final decision about his continuance in the government service,” the sources said.

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