The Punjab and Haryana high court on Tuesday dismissed the anticipatory bail applications of superintendent of police (SP) Amandeep Kaur and four co-accused in a case of abetment of suicide.
Excise and taxation officer (ETO) Ranjit Singh had committed suicide in April last year after he was allegedly framed in a bribery case by the SP, then posted with the vigilance bureau (VB), and her alleged conduits head constable Harminder Singh and traders Rajinder Singh, Rajiv Sood and Paramjit Singh.
Following the ETO's death, a two-member high-level committee had conducted an inquiry and found that the VB trap was fake. The Mohali police had registered an FIR against the accused in July on the orders of the district court.
The accused, who are yet to be arrested, had moved the high court for anticipatory bail after their bail pleas were rejected by a Mohali court last month.
On Tuesday, justice KC Puri dismissed their bail applications after hearing the arguments for more than one-and-a-half hours.
The SP's counsel challenged the inquiry report that had indicted the SP and other accused and had strongly recommended the immediate arrest of the SP and her conduits under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Prevention of Corruption Act.
It was after a complaint by the ETO's widow, Manjit Kaur, that the police also booked them for abetment to suicide (under section 306 of the IPC).
The public prosecution and Manjit Kaur's counsel stated that the arrest, as recommended by the probe report, was mandatory to take the case proceedings forward.
The court also disapproved an argument for bail that the SP and her conduits had never demanded a bribe of Rs 50 lakh from the ETO to settle the matter after framing him.
March 29, 2011: VB arrests ETO Ranjit Singh in Mohali in a trap laid by SP Amandeep Kaur
April 20, 2011: Ranjit gets bail; commits suicide by consuming poison two days later
April 29, 2011: Chief secretary forms inquiry panel
July 9, 2011: 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 punitive action
April 2012: Manjit Kaur approaches HC; notices issued to Punjab govt; she also complains to Mohali court about police's refusal to lodge FIR
July 20, 2012: Amandeep Kaur's anticipatory bail plea rejected
July 27, 2012: Mohali district court orders FIR on Manjit's plea
October 25, 2012: Police file challan before the court