ETO suicide case: Arrest warrants against SP, 4 others
The SAS Nagar district court on Monday issued arrest warrants of all five accused in the infamous ETO suicide case registered against superintendent of police (SP) Amandeep Kaur and four others around three months ago.
The accused were booked in August 2012 for allegedly framing excise and taxation officer (ETO) Ranjit Singh in a corruption case in March last year. The ETO had committed suicide in April 2011, soon after being released on bail.
SAS Nagar special judge RS Lal issued the non-bailable warrants as the accused failed to appear in the court on Monday despite the notices served to them.
Police had registered the case against the SP, head constable Harminder Singh, traders Rajinder Singh and Rajiv Sood and one Paramjit Singh on August 18, on the directions of the SAS Nagar court dated July 27.
The accused were booked under sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 307 (abetment to suicide) and other sections of the IPC related to criminal intimidation and forgery and framing of false evidence, besides sections 7 (taking illegal gratification) and 13 (2) (criminal misconduct) of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
Aggrieved applicant's plea
"The SAS Nagar police have been hand-in-glove with the accused. None of the accused has been either arrested or interrogated so far," stated Manjit Kaur, the deceased ETO's wife, in her plea filed in the court through her counsel PS Walia.
The Punjab and Haryana high court had already dismissed the anticipatory bail applications of all the accused, observing that their non-arrest would hamper the investigations.
Earlier, the SAS Nagar court had rejected the bail pleas of all the accused, observing, "It is essential for the investigating agency to probe the matter thoroughly, for which the custodial interrogation of the applicants/accused is a must."
'SIT job over'
When contacted, SP (D) Balwinder Singh, who heads the special investigation team (SIT) to look into the case, said his job was over with the filing of the challan against the accused in the court. The challan was filed on October 25, 2012, without any arrest in the case.
"It is up to the investigation officers of the case to arrest them," he added.
The IOs in the case are DSP RS Sohl and the SHO of SAS Nagar Phase 1 police station.
The facts of the fake VB trap came to the surface during the high-level official inquiry conducted by senior IPS officer Harpreet Singh Sidhu and senior IAS officer Mansavi Kumar. The panel was formed to reach the truth on the directions of the chief minister after the ETO had committed suicide.
Taxation wing evades action against senior official
Senior excise and taxation official Harinder Kaur Brar is yet to face action for her erring role in the case.
Brar faces the accusation that she, as an AETC at that time, did not check the data and intervene on time to release the vehicle 72 hours after ETO Ranjit Singh impounded it.
Brar had explained that she was at Patiala for a workshop for two days and, thus, she could not check the computer log record.
Another accusation she faced is that she concealed certain facts from the two-member inquiry panel probing the matter.
The inquiry panel had recommended immediate suspension of Brar and a departmental inquiry for her role in the entire episode.
She, however, was served with the show-cause notice to which she duly replied. But nine months after her reply, the action is still awaited.
Instead of taking action against her, Brar was promoted as deputy excise and taxation commissioner at the Patiala headquarters after her indictment by the probe panel.
When contacted, principal secretary DP Reddy said he was yet to look into the file. "I will see the file on Tuesday," he said, when asked why it had taken so long to decide Brar's fate.