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Punjab govt. defends appointment of human rights abuser Sumedh Saini as DGP of Punjab

August 1, 2012 | By

Chandigarh (August 01, 2012): Punjab Government has produced it’s confidential records before the Punjab and Haryana High Court to defend the appointment of human rights abuser and IPS officer Sumedh Singh Saini as Director General of Police (DGP). The government argued that the Sainis has “outstanding” annual confidential reports (ACRs). Moreover, according of the Government, it was the “emerging volatile” situation in Punjab — owing to orders being issued to execute the death warrant against Punjab CM Beant Singh’s assassin Balwant Singh Rajoana in March — which compelled the state government to immediately appoint Saini as the DGP.

Records produced in the court reveal that the Government showed scant faith in the then DGP Anil Kaushik.

An official confidential noting of the government, dated March 13, 2012 reads: “The threat to law and order in wake of the warrants of execution is imminent. The current DGP may not be able to control the situation. On this count, Saini has a reputation of effectiveness and a no-nonsense approach.”

These official record and noting were produced by the Punjab government before the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Tuesday – July 31, 2012.

This was done as per high court’s directions, which on the last date of hearing, had called for records to peruse whether other officers were considered at the time of appointment of Saini as the DGP.

The court had issued the direction while pursuing a petition filed by an NGO, Voices for Freedom, demanding Saini’s removal from the post of DGP. The NGO had alleged that the selection committee was not apprised of the fact that Saini stands charge-sheeted in a case of abduction with intention to murder.

Defending Saini’s appointment, the government on Tuesday produced official records to prove that not once, but thrice, Saini’s case was brought to the notice of the screening committee and political bosses.

At the time of Saini’s promotion to the post of ADGP and then at the time of his appointment as DGP, charge-sheets against Saini were brought to the notice of the screening committee, it added.

The Punjab government led by Badal Dal, has also claimed that the legal opinion was sought from the office of Punjab Advocate General, which suggested that there is no bar in appointing Saini as the DGP. “The screening committee considered him fit for promotion to the rank of additional director general of police and then to the post of DGP, Punjab,” reads the reply filed by D S Bains, Principal Secretary (Home).

The government has also annexed ACRs of all officers who were considered at that time for the post of DGP. Only Saini had all outstanding ACRs, it added. “Saini has unimpeachable integrity, vast experience and outstanding record. As was discussed, the new government desires to give a thrust on priority areas for long term continuity. Following issues were identified: officer should have impeccable integrity, corruption be eradicated and a people friendly police force be raised and an effective anti-drug campaign be run,” stated the government’s reply and noting at the time of his appointment.

It added: “It was noted that warrants for execution of Rajoana for March 31 have been issued. This may lead to prolonged agitations. The threat of polarisation on communal lines is not ruled out. It may need long term attention. The gist of ACRs of officers in the consideration zone was examined. This includes the current four DGP rank officers and the four other officers of the 1982 batch who have been approved for promotion to the rank of DGP. Sumedh Singh Saini has earned all outstanding ACRs whereas others have secured may good and very good ACRs during their careers.”

The case has been adjourned to September 11 for further arguments.

Sumedh Saini faced CBI inquiry for extermination of Father, Uncle and friend of Professor Devender Pal Singh Bhullar, a Sikh political prisoner facing death sentence in India. CBI inquiry established that trio were picked up by Sumedh Saini, then SSP of Chandigarh, in 1991 and they were brutally tortured in custody. Later at the directions of Saini they were moved to Qadian police station and since then there are no known whereabouts of trio as they were exterminated in police custody by Sumedh Saini and others.

Saini is also accused for many other serious human rights violations, including the extermination of family members of Balwinder Singh Jattana of Ropar.

As per human rights organizations’ profiling Sumedh Saini is a known human rights abuser, who practised custodial torture, custodial killings, fake encounters, enforced disappearances at large-scale and as general policing practice.

His political affiliations and patronage by state system has protected him against any inquiry or trial. Even when the CBI found enough evidence against Sumedh Saini in Bullar family extermination case, in a thorough inquiry conducted after the orders of Punjab an Haryana High Court, the Supreme court of India stayed the case after registration of FIR and later quashed whole proceedings on technical grounds. SCI judges deliberately failed to take notice of facts brough into light by CBI inquiry or themselves order a fresh inquiry into the allegations of serious human rights violations against Saini.

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