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New twist in case against Punjab IG

A kidnapping case against Punjab IGP Sumedh Singh Saini and three other police officials has taken a dramatic turn, with the mother of one of the victims alleging a judge-accused nexus, reports Harish V Nair.

india Updated: Jan 14, 2009 00:26 IST
Harish V Nair

A kidnapping case against Punjab IGP Sumedh Singh Saini and three other police officials has taken a dramatic turn, with the mother of one of the victims alleging a judge-accused nexus.

Saini and three other Punjab police officials are facing criminal proceedings in a case in which three people went missing from a Ludhiana police station 14 years ago.

Amar Kaur, mother of one of the victims, Vinod Kumar, has written to Delhi High Court’s judge Justice Sunil Gaur that she doesn’t have faith in him and he should recuse himself from the case. Kaur has send the copies of the letter to the Chief Justice of India as well as Chief Justice of the Delhi HC.

According to Kaur, who sent the letter on January 2, the judge and the accused hailed from Chandigarh, were classmates in a master’s course in history at Panjab University, Chandigarh and “were presumably good friends”. To back her claim, Kaur attached a copy of the result sheet.

Kaur, who is 91, alleged that a bias in favour of Saini was “apparent” and the fact that they were classmates was revealed in an enquiry conducted by her later. Justice Gaur, who had reserved the verdict on Saini’s petition on November 27, has now posted the case for “re-hearing” on February 26, a strong indication that he could recuse himself.

Earlier another judge was hearing the case. Kaur's letter, a copy of which is with HT, alleged that after the matter was transferred to Justice Gaur, “the strategy of the accused took a new turn and it seemed that the judge wanted to finish the matter quickly. After a brief argument only on a point of sanction of case of Saini, the case was reserved for orders. There was an urgency to dispose of the matter. It was only due to the resistance by CBI and the complainant’s counsel that the matter was not disposed of.”