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HC orders CBI probe into Moga sex scam
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 11
Handing over the probe of the Moga sex scam to the CBI, a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today ruled that justice would not be done if the case stayed in the hands of the Punjab police, as names of political bigwigs and top cops had surfaced in the status reports.

The development is significant as the names of Moga’s former SSP Davinder Singh Garcha, former education minister Tota Singh and his son Baljinder Singh have cropped up in the sex-scam proceedings. The racket involves the alleged extortion of money from ‘innocent people’ by police officials in connivance with two women. The duo would implicate people. After accepting illegal gratification, the two would ‘withdraw their names from the array of accused’.

Pronouncing the orders in an open court, the Bench, comprising Justice Mehtab Singh Gill and Justice Harbans Lal, ruled: “The investigating officer, who is a DSP in rank, will not be in a position to investigate the case fairly and truthfully as senior functionaries of the state in the police department and political leaders are being named”.

The Bench further ruled that it was not “casting any doubts on the investigating team”. Rather, “we want to make one thing very clear that the team, comprising DIG Ishwar Chander, SSP, Moga, L. K. Yadav and DSP Bhupinder Singh, has done a commendable job in unearthing the scam”.

The Bench added: “But it seems that the political and administrative compulsions are making it difficult for the investigating team to go any further to bring home the truth. Apart from revolving around a few persons named in the status report (submitted by the team), nothing worthwhile is coming out regarding the interrogation of the police officers, political leaders and others. The investigation seems to have slowed down because of political considerations”.

“Not less than the eight police officials, political leaders, advocates, municipal councillors and a number of persons from the general public have been named in the status report. We feel that justice will not be done to this case, if it stays in the hands of the Punjab police.”

Directing the Ferozepur range DIG, the SSP of Moga and other police functionaries to extend full cooperation to the investigating officer of the CBI and his team in probing the case, the Bench added: “If cooperation is not coming forward, the CBI is at liberty to come back to the court.”

Going into the circumstances, leading to the handing over of the case to the CBI, the Bench observed advocate Sant Pal Singh Sidhu, appearing on behalf of two persons claiming implication in the scam due to political reasons, “has stated that a senior IPS officer and formerly Moga SSP Garcha, political leaders like former education minister Tota Singh and his son Baljinder Singh, are involved in the extortion of money.”

Advocate Ajay Tiwari, too, has argued on behalf of former SHO-cum-accused Raman Kumar that if he were directed to surrender, he would do so before the CBI, rather than the Punjab police.

Before parting with the case, the judges observed: “We feel it is a fit case to be handed over to the CBI…. It is directed to file a status report on February 11 next year. If challan is presented in the court before that date, the petition will stand as having become infructuous”.

Ex-SHO told to surrender

The Bench also directed the cancellation of bail granted to former SHO Raman Kumar and directed him to surrender before the SP or the DSP of CBI’s Special Crime Branch on December 12.

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