Failing to get UT administrator’s nod for suspension of notification prohibiting Babbar Khalsa terrorist Jagtar Singh Tara’s movement from Burail jail, jail authorities failed to produce him before court on the second consecutive day and have now sought time till February 27.
UT police had put in place elaborate security arrangements in view of producing Tara before the court of additional district and sessions judge Shalini S Nagpal, but they failed to produce him as the state failed to obtain suspension of the notification under section 268 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) prohibiting transportation of Tara, the alleged assassin of former Punjab chief minister Beant Singh, from Burail jail.
Jail authorities stated before the court that Tara’s movement from Burail jail was prohibited as Section 268 of the CrPC (person shall not be removed from prison till the completion of the trial) imposed on the assassination accused, was still valid.
Stating that the notification could only be suspended by the UT administrator, who was currently out of the city, the jail authorities sought time till February 27.
Accepting the plea, the court deferred the hearing of the appeal challenging dismissal of UT police’s application seeking Tara’s custodial interrogation, to February 27.
The court also issued fresh production warrants of Tara.
Judicial magistrate Harpreet Kaur on February 17, while dismissing the application of UT police seeking 14-day police remand had granted bail to Tara, and sent him to judicial custody after he failed to furnish bail bonds.
Tara, along with three other people had escaped after digging an around 109 feet-long tunnel inside the jail in January, 2004. Two of them - Jagtar Singh Hawara and Paramjeet Singh Bheroa - have been arrested, while the third, Dev Singh alias Devi, is at large.
Time is running out
Time is running out for UT police to secure Tara’s custodial interrogation as an investigating agency can only seek custodial interrogation in first 14 days of an accused’s arrest as per provisions of law. Tara was arrested by UT police on February 17 and by the time the appeal now comes up for hearing, he would already be 10 days behind bar.