The SAS Nagar district court has framed charges of abetment to suicide against superintendent of police (SP) Amandeep Kaur, three years after excise and taxation officer (ETO) Ranjit Singh ended his life following his arrest by the SP on trumped-up bribery charges.
Besides Amandeep, the accused are head constable Harminder Singh, traders Rajinder alias Gopi and Rajiv Sood, and one Paramjit Singh.
Framing the charges, additional district and sessions judge Jaswinder Sheemar pronounced in the court on Wednesday, “There is prima facie sufficient evidence and material on record to frame charges against the accused persons under... the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and... Prevention of Corruption Act.”
The accused were booked under sections 306 (abetment to suicide) 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and IPC sections related to criminal intimidation, forgery and framing of false evidence, besides sections 7 (taking illegal gratification) and 13 (2) (criminal misconduct) of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
Amandeep, who was present in the court along with the other accused, pleaded “not guilty” and sought a trial in the case, which would come up for the evidence of prosecution witnesses on July 9.
The SP had surrendered in the court on January 15, 2013. The SAS Nagar police had lodged the FIR against Amandeep and the others in July 2012 after directions from the court.
The ETO’s widow, Manjit Kaur, has been fighting a legal battle for justice. Amandeep had trapped the ETO in a ‘bribery’ case in March 2011.
A month later, he committed suicide by taking poison soon after his release. A high-level inquiry by IAS of ficer Manasvi Kumar and IPS officer Harpreet Sidhu had revealed the trap as fake, and recommended that the SP and the co-accused be booked for abetment to suicide.