HC summons status report in Karnal double murder case

  • Vishal Joshi, Hindustan Times, Karnal
  • Updated: Mar 12, 2015 20:29 IST

The Punjab and Haryana high court has summoned the status report with regard to the departmental action to be taken against the erring police officials whose role in the 2008 double murder case of Karnal was under cloud.

A division bench of justices SK Mittal and HS Sidhu heard the public interest litigation (PIL) on March 3 and the case has now been adjourned to April 28.

The Karnal district police authorities have already booked a sub-inspector Ishwar Sharma, the station house officer (SHO) of Kunjpura police station Harbans Lal, now a retired inspector, under sections 406 (criminal breach of trust), 420 (cheating) and 201 (destroying evidence) of the IPC.

While the two officials were directly held responsible for shoddy investigation in the double murder case probe, a high court-appointed special investigation team (SIT) had recommended a further probe to identify police officials who goofed up the investigations and also suggested departmental action against the erring cops.

Families of two influential persons of Karnal, Ram Kumar Kalyan and advocate Ranbir Singh, were involved in the case that took place in April 2008.

Kalyan was sentenced in September last year for murdering a person named Shramveer who was his daughter-in-law Renuka's brother at his residence in Sector 14 on April 22, 2008.

Shramveer had, before being killed, shot dead Renuka's husband, Nabheet Kalyan.

In a complaint filed with the police, Kalyan had said his daughter-in-law Renuka, her brother Sharmveer, and her parents connived to kill Nabheet to grab his wealth.

However, Renuka alleged that the Kalyans had twisted the facts to nail her parents and others named in the FIR with help of some police officials.

She said Kalyan killed her brother and also presented forensic details to buttress her charges.

Renuka pleaded further before the high court that the police investigators fraudulently and illegally removed statements and affidavits from the case file and sought a fair probe.

She claimed that she had signed affidavits to give up her claim to the property of her late husband for getting the FIR against herself and her father Ranbir Singh cancelled.

It was also alleged that the manipulation in investigation records was done due to pressure from the higher-ups in the police.
Later, the high court treated the petition as a PIL and subsequently, additional director general of police V Kamaraja was asked to probe the case.

SIT later found out that Renuka's allegations were substantive.

On January 8 this year, Hindustan Times had reported that the SIT not only talked of tampering of probe documents by the investigators and violation of forensic sample protocols, but also accused the superintendents of police (SPs) concerned and their deputies of a casual approach in supervising the crime involving high-profile families of the city.

Meanwhile, Renuka's father Ranbir Singh has demanded a probe by a police official above the rank of inspector general for an impartial probe.

"SIT hints at probing the role of officials in the case and the current investigation which is being done by an inspector may not bring justice," he said.

Singh said that despite a criminal case registered on the recommendation of high court-appointed SIT, the accused Ishwar Sharma, continues to be on duty as the station house officer (SHO) of Kunjpura police station. vishal.joshi@hindustantimes.com

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