Customs officer evades arrest on medical grounds

  • Parampreet Singh Narula, Hindustan Times, Kapurthala
  • Updated: Sep 12, 2014 10:29 IST

The customs department superintendent, arrested by the Kartarpur police for allegedly carrying 10 kg heroin worth Rs 50 crore in the international market, is yet to be put behind bars as he is admitted to Guru Nanak Dev Hospital, Amritsar, since February this year for treatment.

Gurdev Singh, superintendent customs, was posted at the Attari railway station when he was arrested after a tip off for carrying 10 kg heroin, Rs 17, 000 in cash and an unlicensed weapon on May 3, 2013. According to police sources, the accused was driving from Amritsar to Jalandhar when he was intercepted and caught red handed at Kartarpur.

An FIR was registered against him at Kartarpur police station under Sections 21, 61 and 85 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act. The accused was posted as an inspector with the customs department in the 1980s and was working in its anti-smuggling unit for north India.

Sources say, during this time, he built his own contacts which he abused for running the drug trade.

Soon after his arrest, Singh was sent to Modern Jail, Kapurthala. However, after a few days, the accused took medical leave from the jail, complaining of cervical pain, and was admitted to Guru Nanak Dev Hospital, Amritsar, on February 10, 2014, and is staying there since then.

Paramjit Singh Sandhu, Modern Jail superintendent said, “We have informed the medical superintendent of the hospital to form a medical board to assess the matter, as Gurdev Singh is evading arrest on medical grounds. Despite our repeated correspondence, the hospital authorities have failed to reply to us.”

Police officials raided the hospital premises on July 31, 2014, and found the accused living a lavish life in the hospital. During the raid, a bottle of alcohol, 15 compact disks and one mobile phone were recovered from under his bed. A case has been registered in this regard at civil lines police station, Amritsar.

Meanwhile, Sujata Sharma, medical superintendent of Guru Nanak Dev Hospital said there was no patient named Gurdev Singh admitted to the hospital, contradicting all claims made by the jail authorities. However, principal of Guru Nanak Dev Hospital Santokh Singh accepted the fact that the accused was admitted in their hospital and said they had not received any letter from the jail authorities. He said, “If the jail authorities would have sent us letters, we would have carried out an inquiry and formed a medical board to check the reality.”

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