Court accepts closure report, year after Punjab drug officer’s murder
The Punjab government on Wednesday told the Punjab and Haryana high court that closure report filed by Punjab Police in the murder of Kharar drug officer Neha Shoree has been accepted by the trial court.
The information in this regard was given by a Punjab government counsel during resumed hearing of a plea filed by Neha Shoree’s father Captain Kailash Kumar Shoree (retd), 70, and mother, Arun Shoree, 65.
In their November 2019 plea, the parents had demanded that police be directed to present a final probe report before the area magistrate. The family alleged role of drug cartel behind Shoree’s murder.
Balwinder Singh, 49, a Morinda resident, had opened fire at Neha, who was posted as the zonal licensing authority, at her office in Kharar before shooting himself with his 32-bore pistol on March 29. The probe was conducted by the Bureau of Investigation (BoI), Punjab.
The closure report was accepted by the court of subdivisional judicial magistrate, Kharar, Shilpi Gupta on January 8, after complainant in the case, Gurmeet Singh, deposed before the judicial officer that he had no objection to its acceptance.
Gurmeet Singh is a computer operator who was sitting with the drug officer when the incident took place.
The January 8 order of judicial officer reads: “... as the accused in the present case has already been died. Thus the closure report submitted by the police is hereby accepted. Nothing further remains to be done in the present case (sic).”
Family to challenge order
During the hearing on Wednesday, the family’s lawyer raised questions in the manner the closure report has been filed and demanded that Shoree’s parents be provided with a copy of the closure report. Initially, the state government counsel was not in its favour, but later submitted that if the family applied for a copy, it will be provided to them.
After the hearing, the family’s counsel, BD Sharma, said they will challenge the order accepting the closure report. “How can the case be closed without taking the family into confidence? We will challenge the trial court order, but we first need to see what police have said in the closure report,” he said.
The special investigating team (SIT) report had concluded that there was no role of drug smugglers in the murder.
“No other person except assailant Balwinder Singh was found to be responsible for the commission of offences of the present case. And the motive behind the said occurrence was found to be the denial of fresh licence to his wife for opening a medical shop, which caused severe hardships to the family members of the assailant,” the report had stated, adding that the accused might have suspected Shoree “for the inability of getting a fresh licence, which provoked his mind to kill her”.
The report had also ruled out involvement of any insider from Shoree’s office or for that manner any other person in the broad daylight murder.