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HindustanTimes Tue,22 Jul 2014

Haryana

To evade arrest, accused MLAs go underground
Vishal Joshi, Hindustan Times
Karnal, September 03, 2013
First Published: 12:57 IST(3/9/2013)
Last Updated: 12:59 IST(3/9/2013)

Two Haryana legislators wanted by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for abetting the suicide of Karam Singh, a former sarpanch of Kambopura village in Karnal, have gone into hiding.


After issuance of non-bailable warrants by a CBI court, Congress MLA from Assandh Zile Ram Sharma and Independent MLA from Panipat (rural) Om Prakash Jain have gone untraceable.

Karam Singh was found unconscious near a cemetery in Karnal on June 7, 2011, and later died. Deceased’s son Rajinder Singh had filed a complaint with Karnal police and charged Sharma and Jain with conspiring to kill Karam Singh.

 The complainant had alleged that both Jain and Sharma used to take money on the pretext of providing government jobs to people. Karam Singh allegedly too had paid the accused MLAs to get government jobs for his three kin, but in his case none of his kin got a job and the legislators even refused to return the money.

Earlier, both politicians were booked for murder, but after investigations in the case, they have been charged by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) with abetment to suicide.

While Jain was the civil aviation minister in the Hooda government, first time MLA Zile Ram was chief parliamentary secretary (CPS) after he left his parent party Haryana Janhit Congress and switched over to the Congress in 2009. After their names surfaced in connection with the death of Karam Singh, the two had to resign from their posts in June 2011.

The investigations

Following Karam Singh’s mysterious death, the Haryana government handed over the case to the state crime branch. Dissatisfied with the probe report of the crime branch, which had given a clean chit to Jain and Sharma who were part of the government then, the deceased’s son had approached the Punjab and Haryana high court.

The high court handed over the case to the CBI on August 12, 2012.

However, the forensic tests termed Karam Singh death as a suicide and the CBI charged the MLAs and Jain’s personal assistant Rajinder Sharma with abetment to suicide.
 
Allegations

According to the CBI charge sheet filed on August 8, 2013, Jain and Sharma had allegedly taken Rs. 12.5 lakh from Karam Singh (58), former sarpanch of Kambopura village in Karnal, on the pretext of providing government jobs to his son and two nephews.

As the accused failed to fulfil the promise, Karam Singh kept asking them to return the money but they (Jain and Sharma) neither returned money nor provided jobs.

On June 7, 2011, Karam Singh allegedly committed suicide and his body was found in Karnal.

Just a day before committing suicide, Karam Singh had informed the police and chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda about the alleged wrongdoings of the accused MLAs.
 
Now, the whereabouts of the MLAs and their families are not known. Jain and his family run an elite school in Panipat.

The two MLAs who used to move around with the police protection, have left for undisclosed places with the guards. Their mobile phones are not accessible and the caretakers of their houses claim ignorance of their whereabouts.

Jain on Monday moved a bail application in Punjab and Haryana high court through his lawyer.

CBI teams are searching the houses and offices of the MLAs in Karnal and Panipat but are unable to track them down. Relatives of the leaders are also on the police radar.
 
Chronology:
 
June 7, 2011: Ex-sarpanch Karam Singh dies under mysterious circumstances in Karnal. Deceased’s son Rajinder Singh charges Sharma and Jain with conspiring to kill his father.
 
June 9, 2011: Jain and Sharma resign from the posts of minister and the chief parliamentary secretary.
 
August 30, 2012: Punjab and Haryana high court hands over the case to the CBI.
 
September 25, 2012: The CBI registers a case and begins a probe.
 
August 8, 2013: The CBI files a charge sheet in the special court in Panchkula, charging Jain, his PA Rajinder Sharma and Zile Ram Sharma with abetting Karam Singh’s suicide.
 
August 22: The CBI court rejects anticipatory bail of Jain and Sharma.
 
August 30: The CBI court issues non-bailable warrants against the accused, who are untraceable ever since.


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