ETO suicide case: Trader's bail plea rejected, no arrests yet
A local court, on Saturday, dismissed the anticipatory bail plea of a trader, Rajiv Sood, in the fake trap case against an excise and taxation officer (ETO), Ranjit Singh, who had later committed suicide.
Sood is one of the accused in an FIR registered by the Mohali police on August 18, in compliance with the directions of the court, against SP Amandeep Kaur, head constable Harminder Singh and three traders, Rajinder Singh, Rajiv Sood and Paramjit Singh, for framing ETO Ranjit Singh in a fake vigilance trap.
The accused were booked under sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 306 (abetment to suicide) and other sections of the IPC relating 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.
After the registration of the case, Rajiv Sood had moved court seeking anticipatory bail, claiming that the complaint against the ETO was correct and he had nothing to do with the suicide.
The counsel of the complainant, Prabhjot Singh Walia, talking about the grounds on which the bail plea was challenged, said, "We apprised the court of the complaints against the ETO. The documents were all forged to justify the fake trap."
"We had urged the court to dismiss the anticipatory bail plea of the accused as the investigations into the case are yet to begin. If the accused are granted bail, they would not join the probe," said Walia.
He said the case was registered on the directions of the court and the special investigation team (SIT) constituted was yet to initiate the investigations. "The custodial interrogation of the accused is necessary for investigations. Had he been granted bail, the other accused would also have sought relief on similar grounds," said Walia.
Following registration of the FIR, the police had constituted a three-member SIT, but so far no one has been arrested.
ETO Ranjit Singh, who had been trapped falsely in March 2011, had committed suicide a month later soon after his release on bail.
HT had broken the story on February 16, 2012, on how a high-level probe had exposed the trap as fake and yet the government was not taking any action against the erring cops and traders.
The ETO's widow, Manjit Kaur, had moved court seeking registration of an FIR against those who had framed her husband. Special judge-cum-additional sessions judge Rajinder Aggarwal had pronounced the orders for registration of FIR on July 27.
The Punjab government had ordered a high-level inquiry into the matter and the probe had indicted SP Amandeep Kaur and head constable Harminder Singh.
The inquiry, conducted by IPS officer Harpreet Singh Sidhu and IAS officer Mansavi Kumar, had found that the frame-up was executed allegedly in connivance with Ludhiana-based traders Rajiv Sood and Rajinder Singh, who wanted to settle scores with the ETO. The probe panel, in its report submitted to the chief secretary in July last year, recommended immediate suspension of the guilty cops and registration of an FIR against them and the traders.