Nearly three weeks after a district court ordered registration of an FIR against the vigilance bureau (VB) sleuths, who allegedly laid a fake trap that drove an excise and taxation officer (ETO) to suicide, the police finally complied on Saturday.
Superintendent of police (SP) Amandeep Kaur, who was then posted with the VB, head constable Harminder Singh and the three traders who acted as complainants in the fake trap have been booked for abetting the ETO's suicide, besides other offences, in the FIR registered at the Phase-1 police station in Mohali (SAS Nagar). A three-member special investigation team (SIT) has also been constituted, though nobody was arrested immediately. The SIT is headed by SP(D) Balwinder Singh, and includes DSP (city) RS Sohal and SHO Gurdeep Singh.
ETO Ranjit Singh was trapped by the Vigilance Bureau and accused of bribery in March 2011. He committed suicide a month later while on bail.
In a three-part series ('Custodians of Corruption') beginning February 16, 2012, Hindustan Times had reported how a high-level probe had exposed the trap as fake and indicted the superintendent of police and the head constable.
The panel had recommended cases to be registered, but the government was not taking any action. Finally, special-cum-additional sessions judge Rajinder Aggarwal ordered the First Information Report on July 27 on a plea by the ETO's widow, Manjit Kaur.
The two cops and the traders have now been charged under sections 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 306 (abetment to suicide), besides offences related to criminal intimidation, forgery and creation of false evidence, as defined in the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Sections 7 (taking illegal gratification) and 13 (criminal misconduct) of the Prevention of Corruption Act have also been pressed.
The three traders named in the First Information Report are Rajinder Singh, Rajiv Sood and Paramjit Singh.
Mar 29, 2011: VB arrests ETO Ranjit Singh in Mohali in a trap laid by SP Amandeep Kaur
Apr 20: Ranjit gets bail; commits suicide by consuming poison two days later
Apr 29: Chief secy forms inquiry panel
July 9: Panel submits report to chief secy, indicts cops, traders
Jan-Mar 2012: ETO's widow Manjit Kaur leaves country after being denied security, returns several weeks later; home secy writes to CM to implement probe panel recommendations for action
Apr: Manjit Kaur approaches HC, notices to Punjab govt, case still on; she also complains to Mohali court about police's refusal to lodge FIR
July 20: SP Amandeep's anticipatory bail plea rejected
July 27: Mohali court orders FIR on Manjit's plea