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Punjab supercop challenges charges

india Updated: Dec 15, 2006 21:06 IST
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Punjab Deputy Inspector General of Police Sumedh Singh Saini, accused in a case in which an automobile businessman and two other went missing from custody 14 years ago, moved the Delhi High Court on Friday seeking quashing of charges against him.

Admitting the petition, Justice Badar Durrez Ahmed issued notice to the CBI which is the prosecuting agency in the case and sought their reply by January 23.

A court in Tis Hazari had on December 6 framed charges of kidnapping with intention to murder Ludhiana-based businessman Vinod Kumar against Saini and
three other police officials. They have also been accused of criminal conspiracy.

Terming the charges as "unfounded and legally perverse", Saini, in a petition filed through his lawyer Anupam Gupta said the lower court order was not supported by evidence. He said the CBI has not been able to establish any overt act by his client.

Besides, Gupta said the CBI had not secured the mandatory sanction before prosecuting Saini and therefore the trial itself was "null and void". According to the CBI, Saini nursed a personal grudge against Vinod and booked him under a case of economic offences.

A police team took Vinod and two others into custody on February 23, 1994, and they were never seen after that. In the chargesheet, the CBI said that there was "sufficient evidence" against the police officials.

Special Judge Vinod Goel also imposed Section 341, (punishment for wrongful restraint) and 342, (punishment for wrongful confinement) on the four accused.
The other three accused - also senior police officials - are Sukhmohinder Singh, then Superintendent of Police, Ludhiana, Paramjit Singh, Inspector, the then SHO, Ludhiana, Balbir Chand Tiwari, Inspector, the then SHO PS Kotwali.

"It is not the function of the public servant to enter into criminal conspiracy or to confine any person in wrongful confinement without lodging any FIR or to abduct any person with the intention to murder him in discharge of his official duty," observed Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Goel while framing of charges against the four accused.

The case was transferred to Delhi from an Ambala court by the Supreme Court in 2004 .Vinod's brother-in-law Ashok Kumar and driver Mukhtiyar Singh also went missing from Kotwali police station in Ludhiana with him.

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