Punjab and Haryana HC quashes investigation in Kotkapura firing case

The High Court also directed the state to reconstitute the special investigating team without IPS officer Kunwar Vijay Partap Singh

Punjab and Haryana HC quashes investigation in Kotkapura firing case

File photo for representation.

Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 9

Allowing a writ petition, the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Friday quashed the investigation carried out by the state in the Kotkapura firing case.

The High Court also directed the state to reconstitute the special investigating team without IPS officer Kunwar Vijay Partap Singh.

The directions by Justice Rajbir Sehrawat came on a petition filed by Gurdeep Singh and another police official seeking the quashing of “subsequent” FIR registered in the Kotkapura firing case.

Directions were also sought for removal of IPS officer Kunwar Vijay Partap Singh from the investigation of the case.

The Bench was told that the subsequent FIR dated August 7, 2018, for attempt to murder and other offences under Sections 307, 326, 324, 323, 341, 201, 218, 120-B and 34 of the IPC registered at Kotkapura city police station was illegal.

Elaborating, senior advocate RS Cheema and Arshdeep Singh Cheema submitted that an FIR for the “same transaction” already stood registered on October 14, 2015, following incidents of sacrilege in the state.

The petitioners also prayed for directions to the investigating agency to carry out probe into the initial FIR. The petitioners added a declaration was, in fact, required to be issued that the investigation in the subsequent FIR by the special investigating agency was illegal and impermissible and consequently the final investigation report, too, was required to be quashed.

It was added that the subsequent FIR was registered after a gap of nearly three years with regard to an occurrence which took place on October 14, 2015, on the statement of respondent—Ajit Singh—recorded in August last year, who admittedly never filed any complaint before any authority till he was actually summoned on the directions of the high-ranking police officers to give his statement leading to registration of the impugned FIR.

The petition added that the registration of the impugned FIR was against the settled principles of law. Besides the manner in which investigation was conducted in the impugned FIR by the SIT by completely brushing aside the FIR registered in 2015 and also ignoring the injuries received by more than 50 policemen while on official duty spoke volumes about the probe conducted.

The final investigation report under Section 173 CrPC itself was legally not maintainable as it was not signed by an officer legally empowered to do so. It was added Kuwar Vijay Pratap Singh was not an SIT member on May 23, when the report was signed by him.

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