Charged with destroying murder evidence, accused cop remains on duty

  • Vishal Joshi, Hindustan Times, Karnal
  • Updated: Jan 26, 2015 13:09 IST

The district police authorities have failed to take any action against a cop who has been charged with destroying evidence in the sensational double-murder case by a high court-appointed special investigation team (SIT).

The accused, sub-inspector Ishwar Sharma, continues to be on duty as the station house officer (SHO) of Kunjpura police station, with the complainants now mulling to move court again saying he would influence investigations into the case.

Sharma, besides Harbans Lal, now a retired inspector, have been booked under sections 406 (criminal breach of trust), 420 (cheating) and 201 (destroying evidence) of the IPC.

Case history

Ishwar Sharma and Harbans Lal were the investigators of the murders, involving two influential persons Ram Kumar Kalyan and advocate Ranbir Singh, that took place in April 2008.

Ram Kumar Kalyan was sentenced in September last year for murdering a person named Shramveer who was his daughter-in-law Renuka's brother at his residence in Sector 14 on April 22 that year. Shramveer had, before being killed, shot dead Renuka's husband, Nabheet Kalyan.

In a complaint filed with the police, the Kalyan had said his daughter-in-law Renuka, her brother Sharmveer, and her parents connived to kill Nabheet to grab his wealth.

However, Renuka alleged that the Kalyans had twisted the facts to nail her parents and others named in the FIR with help of some police officials.

She said Kalyan killed her brother and also presented forensic details to buttress her charges.

SIT findings

Convinced with strong forensic details submitted by the state-managed Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL), Madhuban, in 2009, a local court directed to initiate criminal proceedings against the Kalyans.

However, Renuka pleaded further before the high court that the police investigators fraudulently and illegally removed statements and affidavits from the case file and sought a fair probe.

She claimed that she had signed affidavits to give up her claim to the property of her late husband for getting the FIR against herself and her father Ranbir Singh cancelled.

She alleged that the manipulation in investigation records was done due to pressure from the higher-ups in the police.

Subsequently, the high court constituted an SIT, which later found out that Renuka's allegations were substantive. On January 8 this year, Hindustan Times had reported that an SIT headed by the additional director general of police (ADGP), operations, V Kamaraja, not only talked of tampering of probe documents by the investigators and violation of forensic sample protocols, but also accused the superintendents of police concerned and their deputies of a casual approach in supervising the crime involving high-profile families of the city.

The SIT recommended a further probe to identify police officials who goofed up the investigations and also suggested departmental action against the erring cops.

However, dissatisfied as there has so far been no development, the complainant has now decided to approach the Punjab and Haryana high court and the state police chief against the Karnal police authorities.

They have also demanded that further probe be conducted by a deputy superintendent of police rank official and that the accused SHO be suspended for a fair investigation.

"Sharma is accused of committing serious irregularities in the entire investigation. Though he has been booked but the Sharma is still maintaining the charge of SHO. I suspect that the accused police official would influence the investigation being done by his colleague," alleged Ranbir Singh, father of the complainant, Renuka, on Sunday.

Lalit Kumar, SHO of Civil Lines police station said he is conducting further investigations on basis of the SIT report.

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