The revision petition filed by former Amritsar SSP Kultar Singh, DSP Hardev Singh and two other co-accused, Manmohan Singh and Jaswinder Singh, in the mass suicide case of 2004 will now come up for hearing on March 22 in the court of Amritsar additional district and sessions judge Kuldip Singh.
The revision petition was filed by the accused against the summons issued by the court of JMIC (judicial magistrate first class) Daljit Kaur on November 10, 2009. The case was filed by Punjab Human Rights Organisation (PHRO) secretary Sarabjit Singh on April 24, 2009 in a local court.
The revision petition, which came up for hearing in the court of district and sessions judge HS Madaan on Tuesday, was transferred to the court of the additional district sessions judge. While passing the transfer order, the district and sessions judge said that he could not hear the petition as he was the inquiry officer in a complaint filed against a judicial officer, before whose court this case had come up for hearing after the JMIC had issued the summons to the four accused.
While fixing the next date of hearing of the petition for March 22, Madaan directed the additional sessions court to decide the petition by March 31.
The inquiry being conducted by Madaan pertains to a complaint filed by PHRO secretary Sarabjit Singh, who questioned as to how Kultar Singh and the other co-accused managed to get the certified copies of the summoning order passed by the court of the JMIC in 2009 without appearing in person before the court during the hearing of the case. The inquiry was marked to the district and sessions judge after Sarabjit Singh approached the Punjab and Haryana high court, expressing dissatisfaction with the progress of the case in the lower court of Amritsar.
Non-bailable warrants against Kultar Singh and Hardev Singh were issued on September 17 last year by chief judicial magistrate Ranjit Kaur under sections 306, 420, 467, 468 and 471 of the IPC and section 7/13 of the Prevention of Corruption Act. In her order, she had directed the two to appear before the court by November 12. The other two co-accused, Jaswinder Singh and Manmohan Singh, have obtained pre-arrest bail from the high court.
After the order of the CJM's court, Kultar Singh and Hardev Singh moved an anticipatory bail plea in the court of additional sessions judge Kishore Kumar. After the plea was rejected, the two moved the high court seeking anticipatory bail. The next date of hearing in the high court has been fixed for March 19.
Kultar Singh, who retired from the police service a couple of years ago after attaining the rank of DIG, was the SSP of Amritsar when the mass suicide case occurred. Hardev Singh, who is a serving DSP with the Punjab Police, was the SHO of the C division police station, under whose jurisdiction the mass suicides took place.
The PHRO activist had, in his petition, on the basis of the suicide notes recovered after the crime, contended that Kultar Singh was responsible for forcing the family to commit suicide. On the other hand, Hardev Singh was charged with tampering and destroying evidence to save his superior. Sarabjit Singh had moved the judicial courts following the slow progress of a police inquiry in the case despite evidences available against the two police officers.
On the night of October 30-31, 2004, Hardip Singh of Chowk Karori in the walled city, along with his wife, mother and two children, allegedly committed suicide after consuming some poisonous substance. Before taking this extreme step, the family had written the reasons for committing suicide on the walls of the rooms of their house and had even posted suicide notes to their friends and some acquaintances.