The Punjab and Haryana high court has quashed the perjury charges against Punjab Indian Police Service (IPS) officers BK Uppal, S Chattopadhyaya and Surinder Pal Singh in a case of disproportionate assets against Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and family.
Perjury is the intentional act of swearing a false oath or of falsifying an affirmation to tell the truth, whether spoken or in writing, concerning matters material to an official proceeding.
Uppal and Chattopadhyaya are serving at present, whereas Singh has retired. The judgment was pronouncement by the bench of acting chief justice Ashutosh Mohunta on the petitions of the three officers challenging the perjury charges and strictures slapped against them in a judgment of the special judge, SAS Nagar, on October 1, 2010.
While the detailed order is awaited, the acting chief justice while pronouncing the judgment allowed the appeal filed by these officers.
The special judge, SAS Nagar had acquitted Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and his family members in a disproportionate assets case for “lack of evidence”.
However, the judge had asked the Punjab government for legal proceedings against the three officers, who investigated the case. The judgment in the case was reserved by the high court on November 5.
While Singh was the investigating officer of the case related to Badals’ disproportionate assets, Uppal was the supervising officer.
The then DIG police, Chattopadhyaya, who was deputed supervising officer in 2003 to conduct the pre-investigation verification into the allegations of money-laundering by Badal’s family members abroad, had also moved the high court for quashing of the strictures passed against him.
The SAS Nagar court, in its order, had observed that the case had crumbled down under the burden of the statements made by the prosecution witnesses, further saying it was obligatory for the court to undertake the exercise of finding out the persons responsible for such debacle and to take appropriate action against them. Following the lower court order, the three had challenged the order in 2010.