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437 innocents framed by Punjab police during Akali regime: Inquiry commission

The final report submitted by the “Commission of Inquiry” was initially headed by Justice Mehtab Singh Gill

437 innocents framed by Punjab police during Akali regime: Inquiry commission

Photo for representational purpose only.



Tribune News Service

Saurabh Malik

Chandigarh, March 26

The implication of innocents in false cases by the Punjab Police for political and other reasons has been a matter of surmises for long. But the final report submitted by the “Commission of Inquiry” — initially headed by Justice Mehtab Singh Gill — has confirmed the framing of as many as 437 innocents in false cases due to political considerations during the 10 years of Akali regime.

Report on false FIRs submitted to CM

  • The ‘Commission of Inquiry’ was set up to probe cases where “persons are said to have been wrongly implicated in allegedly false FIRs in Punjab during last 10 years”
  • A perusal of the 420-page report, submitted to the Chief Minister, makes it clear that the cases were registered for offences such as cheating, forgery and rape
  • After former Acting Chief Justice Mehtab Singh Gill resigned from the commission in March last year, panel member and retired District and Sessions Judge BS Mehandiratta submitted the final report

A perusal of the 420-page report, submitted to the Punjab Chief Minister, makes it clear that the cases were registered for offences, including cheating, forgery and rape. The FIRs under the provisions of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, too, were registered. The relief was granted by the commission to not just the Congress, but the AAP and the SAD leaders as well.

The report says feedback from nodal officers indicated implementation of the commission orders in 360 cases out of the 437 complaints that were allowed. It says the FIR cancellation reports were filed before the trial courts in 236 cases and proceedings under Section 182 of the IPC was initiated in 35 cases. The section deals with false information, with intent to cause public servant to use his lawful power to the injury of another person.

The report adds compensation was awarded in 33 cases and action against erring police officers/ officials has been taken in 17 cases. Nine out of the 17 are from Ludhiana district alone. In all, 4,702 complaints were received by the commission since its setting up under Justice Gill in April 2017.

The commission was entrusted with the task of inquiring into cases where “persons are said to have been wrongly implicated in allegedly false and baseless cases/FIRs in Punjab during the last 10 years”. It was also asked to recommend to the state government measures to be adopted to prevent the recurrence of such cases in future.

A former Acting Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Justice Gill, resigned from the commission in March last year after his appointment as the State’s Chief Vigilance Commissioner. Commission member and retired district and sessions Judge BS Mehandiratta then took over as the chairman and submitted the final report after 31 interim reports.

The report makes it clear that the commission did not go into 1,132 complaints due to pending trials. Another 526 complaints were dismissed following acquittal after trial due to benefit of doubt or compromise. As many as 727 complaints were dismissed due to conviction by the courts.

No less than 93 complaints were dismissed due to the cancellation of the FIRs by the court. While 90 more complaints were dismissed as withdrawn, 294 were spiked following the non-appearance of the complainants. The commission did not find merit in 1,179 complaints, while 224 were returned to the state’s Home Department, being without jurisdiction.

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