Taking a serious view of the 11-day illegal police custody of two women relatives of Rajinder Singh, an accused in assistant sub-inspector (ASI) Gurdev Singh's murder case, the Punjab and Haryana high court has directed the Fatehgarh Sahib district and sessions judge to conduct an inquiry within 20 days.
The vacation bench headed by justice Amol Rattan Singh issued the directions after going through the report submitted by the court-appointed warrant officer, who had got released Rajinder's mother Jaspal Kaur and sister-in-law Gagandeep Kaur from a private house at Hansali village in Fatehgarh Sahib district on April 15.
Gurdev Singh had been shot dead outside Haveli restaurant on the Jalandhar-Phagwara highway on March 31. Rajinder is still at large.
Advocate Rajiv Sidhu had filed a habeas corpus petition on behalf of Gagandeep's mother Paramjit Kaur for the release of both women. The court observed that the women's abduction was said to be because of Rajinder's alleged involvement in the ASI's murder.
Present in the court on Thursday, Gagandeep and Jaspal, while recording their statements, submitted that they were picked up from their village, Bhaini Khurd, in Fatehgarh Sahib district on the intervening night of April 4 and 5 by some drunk cops.
They stated that no woman constable was accompanying the cops when they were taken to Wadaliwala police station, where SHO Sukhbir Singh (present in court) was also drunk.
Thereafter, the cops kept shuttling them between the Crime Investigation Agency (CIA) staff office at Sirhind and Hansali police post till April 10, when they were kept in a house in Hansali village, just 1.5km from the police post.
Both women told the court that the police also took away the licensed weapon, bank statements and passport of Jaspal's husband.
Gagandeep said the police had also taken her husband's white Maruti Swift car in their illegal possession at Wadaliwala police station and were using it by changing its registration number.
Jaspal's brother Jeet Singh, who was present in the court, submitted that he was also picked up by the police in the wee hours of April 5 and was taken to an unidentified police post, from where he was later released on April 16.
Wadaliwala police station SHO Sukhbir Singh informed the court that Gagandeep's husband and some relatives had also been booked under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act and were confined in the Kapurthala jail.
The case would now come up for hearing in the second week of May.