The Punjab and Haryana high court has fined an SAS Nagar resident Rs 1 lakh for filing a frivolous petition in 2011 against Punjab director general of police (prison reforms), Sanjiv Gupta. The petition alleged Gupta had acquired assets disproportionate to known sources of income and demanded a CBI inquiry. Gupta, then was additional DGP (crime).
“The petition is misuse of process of court to settle personal scores,” the bench held.
In its judgment that came after 30-odd hearings, the bench of justice Kuldip Singh told the petitioner Garja Singh that he could approach the government with this complaint.
The court, while noting that nine First-Information Reports (FIRs) had been registered against the petitioner, even before the dispute started. It added he could file a civil suit if he felt that Gupta was trying forceful possession of his property in an illegal manner. It also told Garja to represent to the state DGP if needed security.
“If such a fishy petition is allowed, it will open flood gates, wherein several petitions will be filed against one or the other officers, demanding a CBI inquiry,” the HC bench said.
The petitioner had alleged that Gupta or his family owned or had share in 15 properties and had also acquired benami (without a title deed) properties in four states. It also sought that Gupta be restrained from taking forcible possession of a plot in Karoran village.
In its reply, the government which was a party to the case, termed the petition an abuse of process of law. It argued that the petitioner’s brother had filed an identical petition in 2007. Gupta had submitted that the petition was ‘motivated’ and a result of dispute with some officers that trained with him.