A local court on Monday rejected the Central Bureau of Investigation’s closure report on the murder of the owner of the Sham Fashion Mall, Amarjit Singh Khurana, and directed the agency to reinvestigate the case after the deceased’s kin called the probe “faulty” and “unfair”. The brief order, pronounced by chief judicial magistrate Anubhav Sharma, rekindled hope among family members of Khurana’s killers being identified and brought to book after an excruciating five-year wait.
“After nearly five years we can now hope the two motorcycle borne suspects who shot my father outside his home will be nabbed,” said Gagandeep Khurana, the deceased’s son. It was only after considering his protest petition accusing the CBI of “being in haste to close the case without conducting a proper investigation,” did the court ask the agency to have a relook at the entire case.
Khurana, 51, was shot dead at point blank range in May 2009 outside his home in Sector 35. After the Chandigarh police was not able to come up with any conclusive results in its investigations, the Punjab & Haryana High Court transferred the case to the CBI in October 2010 upon the request of the deceased’s family. However, the agency also failed to identify Khurana’s suspected killers or their motive.
The CBI had urged the court to accept the closure report, saying its investigations had been inconclusive despite having conducted polygraph tests on all possible suspects. The agency also failed to get any leads on the murder despite announcing an award of ` 1 lakh for information leading to the arrest of the suspects.
The CBI had earlier blamed the UT police for lapses in investigating the case that led to a dead-end. According to sources, the agency wrote to the police top brass in December 2012 about the loss of vital evidence that could have provided useful clues in solving the case. The sources added the CBI said the UT police did not obtain the phone call records of Khurana and the suspects. The CBI also claimed the deceased’s mobile phone was not handed over to the agency, even when the phone was taken into possession by the investigating officer of the UT police, adding the footage of the CCTV cameras installed at the mall was also not retrieved.