Seventeen years after her son went missing from police custody, a 94-year-old woman — Amar Kaur — has pleaded with Delhi high court Chief Justice Dipak Misra to direct the trial court to fast track the case so that she can “die peacefully”.
The woman, her body half paralysed besides battling high blood pressure, heart problem and sugar down to serious levels, has been attending court proceedings on stretcher and wheelchair whenever she has been summoned for the past seven years.
The accused in the case are present Punjab vigilance department director SS Saini (then SSP, Ludhiana) and three other junior cops — MS Sandhu, Paramjit Singh and BC Tiwari.
Following the CBI chargesheet, a lower court in 2006 framed charges against them for kidnapping with intention to murder, wrongful confinement and criminal conspiracy. The trial is on at a Karkardooma court (next hearing July 26). The accused have challenged the charges in the high court and that too is pending (next hearing July 26).
In a telegram dated July 8, 2011, she pleaded: “The case is pending since 17 years. Proceedings are still delayed even though the Delhi high court had earlier ordered and the trial court promised day-to-day hearing. I’m 94 years old and all hopes of getting justice in my lifetime is fading away. Now I’m on my death bed. I implore you to order day-to-day hearing so that my soul may rest in peace.”
The case was transferred to Delhi from Punjab by the Supreme Court in 2004 after Kaur cited Saini’s “ability to influence witnesses” given his powerful position.
Kaur’s son, Vinod Kumar, an automobile businessman, his brother-in-law Ashok Kumar, along with their driver Mukhtiyar Singh, had been taken into custody on February 23, 1994, at the Kotwali police station in Ludhiana and had never been seen since then. The CBI claims Saini nursed a grudge against Vinod and booked him under a case of economic offences. A case against Saini and others was registered on orders of the Punjab and Haryana high court.