The Punjab and Haryana high court acquitted Indu Anand and their son in an alleged culpable homicide case of deputy inspector general of police (DIG) Joginder Singh Anand in 1983.
Anand was an uncle of Maneka Gandhi, currently minister for women and child development at the Centre.
Thirty four years after country’s premier agency, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) claimed the role of family members, the high court bench of justice AB Chaudhari acquitted his wife, Indu Anand, son Sumanjit Singh and nephew Sandeep Singh. Sumanjit Singh was 17 and Sandeep Singh 18 at the time of the incident.
The high court bench while allowing their appeals observed that CBI had been “unfair” to them and that trial court order was perverse. Detailed order is awaited.
As per prosecution, on the intervening night of July 12 and 13, 1983, Joginder Singh Anand (47), Indu Anand, Sumanjit and Sandeep returned home in sector 3, Chandigarh, after attending a “drink party” at about 11 pm. Indu and the DIG entered into a verbal duel, she caught hold of his neck and pressed it. Anand, later fell on the floor. When they found that he was dead, the body was ferried in a car and thrown in Sukhna Lake, the CBI had claimed.
The next day, at about 7.30 am, the body was discovered by the police. Local police theory was that of DIG had committed suicide, but later CBI registered a case on July 23, 1983 and claimed family’s role in the death of DIG.
It was one Darshan Lal, an orderly, on whose testimony the CBI had built up its case. His statement was recorded in September 1, 1983, in which he claimed of quarrel between DIG and his wife and Indu pressing his neck and ferrying of body to be thrown into lake, by family members.
In March 11, 1996 a Chandigarh trial court had held the three guilty of culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
In high court, appearing for Anand’s, advocate Sartej Narula had argued that Indu had left the house immediately after the fight. Also the counsel questioned CBI’s move of recording Darshan Lal’s statement before a Delhi magistrate, claiming that it was to keep him ‘under pressure’. He had further argued that local police had termed the death as suicide case, but it was after hue and cry by family and allegations of foul play that initial FIR was registered.