The Punjab and Haryana high court on Monday dismissed the suspension of sentence petitions filed by Pritpal Singh Virk, former senior superintendent of police (SSP) of Amritsar (rural), and three other Punjab cops in the custodial death case of Tejinder Singh alias Billu (29) at Sunam in Sangrur district in 1993.
The decision came from the court headed by justice RP Nagrath. Virk along with three policemen namely Shamsher Singh, Avtar Singh and Balbir Singh were convicted in the case by the special court, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Patiala, and were sentenced to 10-year rigorous imprisonment in March last year.
However, appeals of all the four convicts against the special CBI court order are admitted for hearing as per their turn in the high court.
CBI public prosecutor Sukhdeep Singh Sandhu argued that the convicts had committed heinous crime and were thus not entitled for suspension of sentence in the case in any manner.
During the intervening night of May 12 and 13, 1993, Preetpal Singh Virk, then SP (detective) at Sangrur, along with his team, picked up Tejinder Singh Billu and his father Budh Singh from their house in Ram Nagar, Sunam (Sangrur), for suspected terrorist links.
It was alleged that the Billu and his father were given third-degree torture by police in illegal custody and were set free after four days.
The police again picked up Billu from Kolkata in July 1993 and interrogated him at the crime investigation agency's police station at Bahadur Singh Wala, after which Billu went missing and was presumed dead, but the police denied the allegations that they had picked him up.