The role of top district officials of Fatehabad in Haryana has come under the Punjab and Haryana high court scanner in a case where a declared habitual offender, who murdered a lawyer while on bail, was granted parole last month.
The high court division bench of justice Rajive Bhalla and justice Amol Rattan Singh has summoned deputy commissioner (DC) and district magistrate (DM) NK Solanki and superintendent of police (SP) Sangeeta Rani on Monday for the hearing, seeking their explanations. The 42-day parole granted to convict was also cancelled with immediate effect by the HC on Friday.
The HC order came on a petition of one Pankaj Bansal, whose father was murdered by Vijay Singh, a resident of Bhattu Kalan of Fatehabad, while on bail in 2013. The bail of Vijay Singh was recommended by district magistrate Fatehabad last month and released for 42 days for agricultural operations in his village.
The HC was dissatisfied with the role of top officials of the district and also criticised functioning of the state government. The HC took exception of the fact that the affidavit filed by the deputy commissioner was without verification and not dated.
The petitioner in this case had alleged that the parole was granted on reports from local officials, including sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) and tehsildar, wherein facts were "misrepresented". The local SP, in the report sought in the process of grant of parole, though had recommended to the DM that convict was a habitual offender and hardcore criminal and thus, parole be not granted.
The DM, in his reply given to HC, had defended the parole granted by him stating he had jurisdiction to make such recommendation for parole.
The facts about the land owned by the convict, for which he sought parole for agricultural operation has come under scanner. The revenue record says the convict owned 7 marlas of land while the local police in its report stated that he owned 1.5 acres of land. The DC's affidavit in high court gave another contrary figure of 3 acre land owned by the convict.
As per the petitioner, Vijay Singh was convicted in an attempt to murder case of 2009 of the same lawyer with whom the deceased had a property dispute. But while on bail, the convict, along with his two sons, murdered lawyer Suresh Kumar Bansal in 2013 for which he is serving life imprisonment at Model Jail, Chandigarh.
His two sons who are also co-accused in murder case, have been declared proclaimed offenders.