With the police failing to arrest superintendent of police (SP) Amandeep Kaur, one of the five accused in the suicide case of excise and taxation officer (ETO) Ranjit Singh, the court on Wednesday initiated proceedings for declaring her and two others proclaimed offenders (POs).
Five months after the registration of the case, the police had recently arrested only two of the accused traders Paramjit Singh and Rajiv Sood.
Additional district and sessions judge RS Rai on Wednesday initiated proceedings for declaring Amandeep Kaur, head constable Harminder Singh and trader Rajinder Singh POs.
Amandeep, Harminder, Rajinder, Rajiv and Paramjit were booked by the SAS Nagar police in August 2012 on the directions of the court for abetting the ETO's suicide, besides other offences. The ETO was falsely implicated in March 2011 and had committed suicide a month later while on bail.
During the hearing of the case on Wednesday, the public prosecutor urged the court to initiate proceedings of declaring accused POs as all attempts to arrest them had failed.
The public prosecutor also placed before the court prosecution sanction regarding Amandeep, received by the police from the Punjab government, while the sanction to prosecute Harminder Singh was received from the senior superintendent of police (SSP), Khanna.
The court deferred the hearing of the case till January 15.
The special investigation team (SIT) probing the matter had filed a challan before the court in October 2012, stating that Amandeep, Harminder and the three traders conspired to falsely implicate Ranjit, forcing him to commit suicide. The ETO's widow, Manjit Kaur, had even alleged that the police were going slow against the accused. The court had in November last year issued warrants against the accused; these were re-issued on December 20.
Police get rap
Irked over the failure of the police to make all the arrests, the court pulled up Kanwaljeet Singh, station house officer (SHO), Phase 1, SAS Nagar. He tried to convince the court regarding "sincere" efforts being put in by the police to arrest the accused, but to no avail. The court told the police that had they been doing their job, all the accused would have been arrested till now.
Bail plea moved
An accused, Paramjit Singh, on Wednesday moved a bail application before the court. It would come up for hearing on January 15. The court issued a notice to the police to file a reply to the bail plea. Paramjit, a resident of Tibba village in Jagraon, had acted as a complainant in the fake vigilance trap against the ETO. Paramjit, presently in judicial custody, was arrested on January 2.
'Police going slow'
The ETO's widow and the complainant, Manjit Kaur, said, "The court directions to initiate proceedings to declare three accused POs, including SP Amandeep Kaur, has come as a great respite to us. The police have been deliberately going slow as the SP's bail application is coming up for hearing in the Supreme Court on January 10."
Talking to mediapersons after the hearing, she said, "What sincere efforts are the police talking of when they have failed to arrest the main accused? The arrest of Paramjit Singh and Rajiv Sood is just an eyewash. The duo was given VIP treatment by the police. I would approach senior officials seeking action against the cops who gave the accused such treatment."