The Punjab police have failed to take action against former DIG (deputy inspector general) Kultar Singh, whose bail application in an abetment-to-suicide case was rejected by the Punjab and Haryana high court last month.
Kultar Singh, who resides in Rajguru Nagar, a posh locality of the city, was indicted for abetting the suicide of a five-member family at Karori village in Amritsar, where he was posted as the senior superintendent of police (SSP) in 2004.
On the intervening night of October 30 and 31, 2004, Hardip Singh, his mother, wife and two children had ended their lives. The family had blamed four relatives Mohinder Singh, Sabrine Kaur, Kulwinder Pal Singh and Parminder Singh - besides then SSP Kultar Singh and then SHO, division C police station, Hardev Singh, for pushing them to suicide. The family had written on walls of the house and also posted letters to their friends before taking the extreme step.
The police had registered a case of abetment to suicide against Hardip's four relatives and arrested them. Amritsar-based NGO Punjab Human Rights Organisation (PHRO) had demanded an impartial inquiry in view of the references to Kultar Singh in the suicide notes.
The state government appointed IGP (now ADGP) Jasminder Singh as the inquiry officer in 2007 and asked him to submit a report in two months. As the inquiry dragged on, it was handed over to IGP (now ADGP) Hardip Dhillon.
Owing to the tardy progress of the probe, PHRO secretary Sarabjit Singh filed a petition on April 24, 2009, in the sessions court contending that there was pressure on the inquiry officers and that the court should take cognisance of the matter on the basis of the suicide notes and eyewitnesses.
Besides Kultar and Hardev, the petitioner also sought action against Manmohan Singh and Jaswinder Singh, Kultar's relatives, for their alleged role in the case.
Acting on the petition, the court on November 11, 2009, issued summons to all four, besides then IGP Jasminder Singh. While the IGP, Manmohan and Jaswinder recorded their evidence in the court, Kultar and Hardev did not appear. During the course of the hearings in the local court, Manmohan and Jaswinder got pre-arrest bail from the high court.
But the two police officers allegedly "avoided service of summons" by the court repeatedly and did not appear, following which the local court in Amritsar finally issued non-bailable warrants under sections 306, 420, 467, 468 and 471 of the IPC and sections 7 and 13 of the Prevention of Corruption Act and directed the duo to appear before the court by November 12, 2012.
The two approached the high court, which granted bail to Hardev Singh, presently serving as a deputy superintendent of police (DSP) in Faridkot district, but denied it to Kultar Singh.
'It's a conspiracy'
Terming the case a conspiracy against him, Kultar Singh said he had not received any order from the Punjab and Haryana high court, adding that he had already applied for a copy of the order. "Moreover, I have filed a revision petition in the Amritsar sessions court. May 30 (Friday) is the next date of hearing."
He also said several inquiries were conducted in the case and he was pronounced innocent in all, but it was under pressure from some 'blackmailers' that he was indicted in the final inquiry. "I was promoted to the rank of DIG and also awarded the President's medal in 2006, which speaks volumes about my integrity," he added.
Kultar Singh, who retired in 2006, is still enjoying the privilege of three gunmen and an official Ambassador car (PB-46-9300), both provided by the state government. The gunmen occupy a security post at the entrance of his house and in a park opposite the residence. The ex-DIG has even encroached upon a portion of the park to provide an abode to the security personnel.
When asked about Kultar Singh retaining gunmen and the official vehicle even after retirement, principal secretary, home, DS Bains said he was not aware of the matter till now, adding that he would look into it.