The court of district and sessions judge awarded life imprisonment to Kuldeep Singh, a resident of Alipur Sodian village and the son of retired Punjab Police superintendent (SP) Ajmer Singh, convicting him for the murder of his wife last year, here on Tuesday.
The court also slapped a fine of Rs 20,000, in default of the payment of which he would have to go for another 3 years' imprisonment.
Randeep Kaur, 40, was a teacher at the pre-primary wing of the Gobindgarh Public School (GPS), Mandi Gobindgarh; she was married to Kuldeep in 1996 and the couple had two daughters. Randeep's body was fished out from the Bhakhra canal near the Malko Majra village on February 9 last year.
Then husband Kuldeep had told the police that he and his wife were returning home when their car suddenly lost balance. He saved himself by jumping out of the car, but his wife fell into the canal. On February 10, the police, with the help of divers, had taken out the car from the canal Randeep's body was also recovered from the canal.
But Randeep's brother Fatehpreet Singh Sodhi and father Jagjit Singh Sodhi, residents of Chandigarh, were not ready to accept this version. They had alleged that Kuldeep was unemployed and he used to quarrel with Randeep for being a working woman.
They said Kuldeep and his family came to their Chandigarh residence on February 6 and he had threatened Randeep to leave her job, in the presence of Fatehpreet's wife Pooja Sodhi and mother Manjit Kaur, otherwise he would kill her. They tried to pacify Kuldeep, telling him that Randeep would leave the job as soon as he started earning. They alleged that Kuldeep hatched a conspiracy to kill Randeep. On the statement of Fatehpreet, the Sirhind police had registered a case against Kuldeep under Section 302 of the IPC.
Randeep and Kuldeep had a love marriage. At the time of her death, her 15-year-old daughter Jessal Bains was a Class 10 student, while her 6-year-old daughter Briti Bains was a Class 1 student.