Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, January 16
For almost 15 years, police officials Amarjit Singh, Jaswant Singh and Kabal Singh faced unwanted and unnecessary criminal prosecution in a murder case only to find the dead man walking. Ordering Rs 1.5 lakh compensation for the three, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has directed the Ludhiana Additional District and Sessions Judge to virtually do some homework.
Considering that the Judge failed to exercise jurisdiction, Justice Arvind Singh Sangwan directed him to go through at least 10 Supreme Court judgments, including two by Constitutional Bench, on interpretation of anticipatory bail provisions. He was asked to submit within 30 days a written synopsis to the Director, Chandigarh Judicial Academy.
“A murdered man was found alive. Still 15-year-long agony of the petitioners-accused was not buried by the courts below,” Justice Sangwan asserted.
Castigating the Judge and another judicial officer, Justice Sangwan asserted the National Judicial Academy and Chandigarh Judicial Academy were holding seminars and imparting training that judicial consciousness demanded real and substantive justice. There was nothing illegal if a court, in quest of truth and justice, passed an order acknowledging the constitutional right of a citizen in an exceptional case.
The constitutional vision of imparting justice by the district judiciary encouraged the courts to be an instrument to establish a welfare state based on an equal justice to all. But the Ludhiana Additional Sessions Judge and Judicial Magistrate First Class failed to exercise jurisdiction.
Complainant Naginder Singh’s son, an accused in a drugs case, had escaped from police custody in 2005. But Naginder Singh came out with his son’s murder story and received Rs 2 lakh in compensation. The “murdered” man was, however, arrested on August 30, 2019.
A cancellation was filed before the magistrate. But the complainant came out with a protest petition, which was treated a criminal complaint and petitioners were summoned to face trial. Justice Sangwan added trial court ignored the fact that the petitioners filed an application to dismiss protest petition as the summoning order was procured by playing fraud with the court.
Nothing precluded the trial court to dismiss the protest petition. The Additional Sessions Judge dismissed the anticipatory bail plea even after being told the petitioners were being prosecuted in pursuance to a fraud.
Setting aside the protest petition and summoning order, Justice Sangwan ordered discharge of the petitioners in the FIR registered in August 2010 at Dehlon police station in Ludhiana district.
Justice Sangwan ordered the prosecution could initiate proceedings against two witnesses and the complainant and recover Rs 2 lakh from him or his legal representatives. The costs of Rs 50,000 each, too, could be recovered from them after paying it to the petitioners.
Dead man walking: Rs1.5L relief for 3 cops
- In 2005, a drugs case accused fled police custody but father concocted son’s murder story and received Rs2L relief. In 2019, the ‘murdered’ man was held
- A cancellation was filed before magistrate, but father moved protest petition that was treated as criminal complaint. Three cops were summoned to face trial
- The Ludhiana Additional Sessions Judge dismissed their anticipatory bail plea even after being told they were being prosecuted in pursuance to a fraud
- The HC has ordered Rs1.5L compensation for the cops and asked the Judge to study at least 10 SC judgments and file synopsis within 30 days
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