Former Gurdaspur superintendent of police (SP) Salwinder Singh, who had hit headlines earlier this year during the Pathankot terror attack, got a relief as the Punjab and Haryana high court restrained Punjab Police from arresting him in an alleged rape and corruption case.
The high court bench of justice MMS Bedi directed Salwinder, now posted as assistant commandant of 75th battalion of the Punjab Armed Police (PAP) to join investigations, but at the same time asked the police not to arrest him till next date of hearing on September 23. The police have also been asked to respond to his petition.
The conduct of controversial officer had come under scrutiny after his car was taken over by Pakistani terrorists before attack on the Pathankot Air Force base in January this year. The former SP was also questioned by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), probing the attack on the episode in which he had claimed that he along with his cook and a jeweller friend were abducted by terrorists.
Salwinder was booked by the police in August 3, 2016, in an alleged case of graft and rape about which a complaint was made two years back. The police have failed in arrest him so far, even though his anticipatory bail plea was dismissed on August 11 by a district court.
The complaint of woman’s husband was probed twice, which was initially submitted to the chief minister during a “sangat darshan” in 2014. He was given a clean chit in first probe. But a subsequent probe by a Pathankot SP found Salwinder guilty, as per the petition. It was alleged that Salwinder had sexually harassed the woman and also demanded Rs 50,000 in lieu of dropping a rape case against her husband.
Maninder Singh Bajwa, who appeared for Salwinder, had submitted that the complaint was false and argued that complainant had been adding up allegations and changing statements. It was also argued that both the inquiries were held by the same-rank officials in which he was once exonerated. Bajwa had argued that the complaint was made by the woman’s husband and her statement was not recorded. The court was told that Salwinder was ready to give voice samples as being demanded by prosecution to investigate the calls exchanged between woman and him.