Monday, June 24, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Convict hoodwinks cops, judiciary
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Pathankot, June 23
A unique case of how a criminal could hoodwink the police and judicial system came to light when the police lodged a fresh FIR against an ‘uncrowned king’ of anti-social elements, Satish Kumar, alias Mama, who has been leading a normal life even as he was sentenced to life imprisonment two decades ago.

According to sources, Satish Kumar succeeded in suppressing the rejection of bail orders issued by the Supreme Court with the connivance of police and judicial staff and continued to run his hotel, gambling and other anti-social activities. He is considered a “don” and has close contacts with political parties and mafia of the adjoining states. The very name of Mama strikes terror among the local residents. They say that Mama can commit any crime even before a police station and go scot-free. However, after the registration of the fresh FIR, Mama went underground. Mr Barjinder Kumar Uppal, district police chief, Gurdaspur, when contacted by TNS, confirmed that Mama had been hoodwinking the entire democratic system to evade arrest for the past two decades. He also admitted that this was the first such case when a criminal succeeded in leading a normal life even as his bail application was rejected by the apex court.

Mama became infamous when he allegedly murdered a woman, Kamlesh, in 1979. The District and Session Court awarded him life imprisonment and a penalty of Rs 1,500. In the meanwhile, Mama filed a petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court challenging the orders of the District and Sessions Court. He was released on interim bail granted by the high court. However, while disposing of the case, the high court upheld and decision of the District and Sessions Court. As a result Mama had to surrender before the court in July 1981. After this, he moved a bail application in the Supreme Court. He was released on bail on January 21, 1982. During the pendency of the case, Mama allegedly committed yet another crime. He was reportedly booked for “kidnapping for murder” in 1987 and sent to jail. Meanwhile, Mama’s appeal, pending in the Supreme Court, was dismissed by the apex court which upheld the order of the lower court in October 1993. However, Mama managed to “suppress” the orders of the apex court in connivance with police and judicial staff with the result that sealed orders could not reach at the district level for about a decade. The police and judiciary was kept in the dark during all these years and Mama never visited the jail again.

Police sources said after the investigation many heads may roll. Many persons could be involved in ‘suppressing’ the orders of the Supreme Court. Eve jail authorities did not follow the case properly.

By hoodwinking the entire system, Mama spent only 140 days behind bars instead of 20 years in the past two decades.

The police has registered a fresh FIR under Sections 420, 467, 471, 379, 511 and 120-B of the Indian Penal Code at the local police station.

Meanwhile, a high-level probe has been ordered into the entire episode.

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