The Punjab and Haryana high court would now decide a peculiar case in which even after finding of the trial court that a prima facie case for summoning of the accused police officers, including Hisar range inspector general AS Chawla (superintendent of police, Hisar, in 2003), to face trial for the commission of offences under various sections of the IPC, including the Prevention of Corruption Act, is made out, but the state government did not grant the prosecution sanction.
Chawla along with other police officers had not only been alleged to have failed to arrest a proclaimed offender, Balwinder Jot Singh, a resident of Delhi, but had given guest treatment to the accused in the camp office of the Hisar SP in February 2003. Other police officers, who allegedly failed to perform their duties include the then inspector Hari Kailash and assistant sub-inspector Ganga Bishan of the crime investigating agency (CIA) staff, Kaithal, sub-inspector Nar Singh, in-charge police post, Haryana Urban Development Authority, Kaithal. Though Hari Singh and Ganga Bishan have retired from service, Nar Singh is posted station house officer at police station Pundri, Kaithal.
Taking up a petition filed by Kaithal resident Ashok Gautam seeking prosecution sanction of the police officers in the case, the high court bench headed by justice Augustine George Masih sought the replies of the state government and the accused officers on the contentions raised in the petition last week.
The petitioner had got registered an FIR against Balwinder Jot Singh, Satnam Kapoor and Mahboob Khan, all residents of Delhi, for misappropriation and cheating in December 2002 at the Kaithal city police station. After the investigation, a trial court in Kaithal convicted all the three accused in the case.
Appearing for the petitioner, advocate Sushil Gautam submitted before the court that when the Kaithal chief judicial magistrate, vide judgment dated October 13, 2004, had found prima facie point towards the guilt of police officers then state authorities should have properly applied their mind and have granted sanction to prosecute the cops. The state government kept the matter pending till 2005 and lastly refused to grant prosecution sanction in July 2005.
Declining of prosecution sanction by the state authorities concerned tantamounts to making the judicial order redundant and futile, which is totally arbitrary and cannot be permitted, the court was informed.
The counsel also asserted that sanction for prosecuting the cops is not required as taking bribe cannot be said to be having any nexus with the official duties of the respondent police officers.