December 27, 2018 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Chandigarh: A clear proof of targeting of victim families by culprit cops in Punjab have come into light in form of a judgement of Punjab and Haryana High Court as the court found that a false case was registered against family members of victim Avtar Singh Gola who was murdered by infamous cat turned cop Gurmeet Pinky. The Punjab police had initially registered this case in 2001 and later arrested the victim’s family members as many as 16 years of registering the case and after 15 years of filing untraced report in that case. As the Punjab police personnel, accused of committing human rights violations, remain on duty and get promotions, consequently they remain placed in a position where they could further victimise those who try to hold them accountable for their crimes.
The Sikh Siyasat News (SSN) has learnt that the Punjab and Haryana High Court has issued directions to the Punjab police to take appropriate departmental action, within three months, against police official Vinod Kumar (the then SHO of Ludhiana in 2016) who had illegally arrested members of a Ludhiana based family.
The High Court found that the then SHO Vinod Kumar illegally arrested Amrik Singh, father of Avtar Singh Gola who was murdered by cat-turned cop Gurmeet Pinky in 2001, and him family members to help Gurmeet Pinky to take revenge from them. The police had also illegally named senior Advocate Rajwinder Singh Bains and R S Walia in this case.
In a judgement delivered on November 19, 2018 the High Court noted that after Gurmeet Pinky was booked for murdering Avtar Singh Gola an FIR was registered against family members of Avtar Singh to pressurize them to stop pursuing the case against accused cops, including Gurmeet Pinky.
The High Court noted: “Pawan Kumar, ASI Gurmit Singh, the then Head Constable, along with many other persons were booked and convicted for committing the murder of the son of the petitioner in the year 2001 in case FIR No. 10 dated 08.01.2001, registered at Police Station Civil Lines, Ludhiana (Division No. 5) Punjab under Sections 302, 323, 336 read with Section 148, 149 IPC and Section 25/26/29/30 of the Arms Act. Since co-accused Gurmit Singh @ Pinky was a police personnel, therefore, as a counter blast to the aforesaid murder case registered against him, he got lodged FIR [FIR No. 12 dated 10.01.2001 registered under Sections 452, 436, 427, 148 and 149 IPC (Section 120-B IPC added later on) registered at Police Station Division No. 5, Ludhiana] against the petitioner and all his family members so as to put pressure upon him to compromise in the murder case of his son”.
“However, Gurmit Singh @ Pinky, Pawan Kumar S/o Mam Raj and their associates remained unsuccessful as they were convicted after holding trial inasmuch as they were held guilty and convicted under Sections 302 IPC and 27 of the Arms Act vide judgment dated 30.09.2006 and awarded life imprisonment vide order of sentence 17.10.2006. The said judgment attained finality as Gurmit Singh lost his battle upto Hon’ble Supreme Court”, the court noted further.
It is notable that police had filed a cancellation/untraced report on 15.07.2002, in case FIR No. 12/2001 registered against Amrik Singh and him family. The report was also accepted by the Magistrate on 09.10.2002 after no objection from Complainant Pawan Kumar.
But in 2016 the police suddenly presented charge-sheet against Amrik Singh and him family members. The police also named R. S. Bains and R. S. Walia, senior Advocate of Punjab and Haryana High Court, in its charge-sheet.
The High Court noted: “Surprisingly, after a lapse of 15 years from the date of registration of the said FIR and after 14 years from the filing of the untraced report and acceptance of the same by the learned Magistrate vide order Annexure P-9, the police challened the petitioner and all family members under Sections 452, 436, 427, 148, 149 and 120 IPC for burning his house and house hold articles in the year 2016”.
“Thereafter, police remained silent till the year 2017 and all of a sudden, arrested the petitioner, his family members without any evidence against them” the High Court noted.
“SHO Vinod Kumar, who filed the said report under Section 173 (2) CR.P.C., tried his level best and was out and out to help his colleague ASI Gurmit Singh to take revenge from the petitioner and his family members for getting ASI Gurmit Singh convicted in a case of murder of son of petitioner. Consequently, he, even lost sight of the fact that two accused, mentioned in the said report, namely Mr. R.S. Walia and Mr. R.S. Bains, are Senior Advocates of this Court. For them he observed that he will join them in investigation and thereafter what so ever would be the position, take appropriate action against them without adhering to the fact that the said advocates were never named by Gurmit Singh and his mother Harbans Kaur. Such observation and exercise so to be adopted by the SHO Vinod Kumar, on the face of it, is patently illegal”, the High Court observed.
Setting aside the illegal proceedings initiated by the police against Amrik Singh, him family members and their Advocates, the High Court observed and ordered: “[i]n view of discussion above, the impugned FIR No. 12/2001 and final report, contrary to the earlier untraced report filed in the year 2002 filed after 17 years are quashed with the direction to the DGP and Home Secretary Punjab, whosoever is authorised in this behalf to take appropriate action against Vinod Kumar, the then SHO, Division No. 5, Ludhiana including departmental action in accordance with law as far as possible within three months from today. Compliance report in this regard be submitted to the registry of this Court”.