Jagir Kaur conspired to kill daughter: CBI
Chandigarh, August 24
It has claimed that Harpreet’s death was caused by an “excessive dose” of Phenobarbitone, as Bibi could not dissuade her daughter from marrying Kamaljeet Singh even after her forcible abortion. Bibi has been sentenced to five-year rigorous imprisonment and is currently out on parole.
In an appeal filed before the Punjab and Haryana High Court through CBI’s special public prosecutor RK Handa, the premier investigating agency has claimed the judge failed to appreciate that Harpreet’s death was homicidal; and “committed a grave error in law in not giving a finding that the death was under mysterious circumstances”.
The CBI, in its appeal, has claimed that Harpreet and Kamaljeet’s love story began when she was studying in Begowal with Kamaljeet’s younger brother Simarjit Singh. They developed a friendship which culminated into a love affair.
In December 1999, 18-year-old Harpreet was in the USA when she came to know of her pregnancy. She broke the news to Kamaljeet over the telephone.
Both Kamaljeet and Harpreet were hopeful of getting formally married soon and wanted to carry on with the pregnancy. In this regard, they visited a clinic more than once.
But her pregnancy did not go down well with Bibi as it was likely to bring disrepute to her social and her political status. She wanted Harpreet to marry her trusted friend Dalwinder Kaur Dhesi’s eldest son Chenni, who was then studying in the UK.
Harpreet was abducted on March 18, 2000, from Chandigarh after being sedated. She was confined at Dhesi’s residence Jasdil Mansion in Phagwara. Her pregnancy was terminated against her will on March 20, 2000, at Kartarpur by Dhesi, Bibi’s political confidant Paramjeet Singh and approver Dr Balwinder Singh Sohal.
Handa has claimed Bibi could not succeed in her objective of dissuading Harpreet from marrying Kamaljeet through persuasion or by force even after the abortion.
On April 14, 2000, she conspired with Paramjeet Singh, Dhesi, personal security officer Nishan Singh and Dr Sohal to kill Harpreet Kaur.
As her social and political status wielded great influence, the other accused could not defy her. Dr Sohal was asked to suggest “some poison” and till the objective was achieved, it was decided to keep Harpreet under illegal confinement in Jasdil Mansion.
Kamaljeet and his family were not allowed to talk to Harpreet. Even her whereabouts were not disclosed. On the intervening night of April 20 and 21, 2000, Dr Sohal reached the mansion after being called by Paramjeet Singh. He enquired how many tablets of Phenobarbitone were sufficient to kill.
On his advice, 30-35 tablets of Phenobarbitone - obtained earlier from Dr Sohal - were powdered and mixed with vegetables to be served to Harpreet. She was persuaded to take the meals as she was not eating anything in protest against her illegal confinement.
They assured Harpreet of taking her to Chandigarh after she took the meal. “The food containing the fatal dose of Phenobarbitone was thus administered to Harpreet Kaur,” Handa added. It was decided to project the death as a natural one due to dysentery and vomiting. The post-mortem examination was not conducted.
The CBI has claimed that the trial judge committed a grave error in disbelieving Dr Sohal’s testimony as far as the conspiracy to murder was concerned while believing his witness regarding conspiracy to kidnap, wrongfully confining Harpreet and terminating the pregnancy.
The judge again failed to account for Harpreet’s presence at Jasdil Mansion at the time of her death.
The CBI has added that the appeal may be accepted; and accused convicted and sentenced for murder. The appeal is expected to come up for hearing before a Division Bench next week.