Punjab DSP accused of opening fire at wife gets bail from HC
The Punjab and Haryana high court on Tuesday stayed arrest of Punjab deputy superintendent of police (DSP) Atul Soni, accused of firing at his wife at their house in Sector 68, Mohali, on January 19.
The HC bench of justice Jaishree Thakur while issuing a notice to the Punjab government sought a status report and ordered that Soni not be arrested till January 31, the next date of hearing. In the plea before the HC, Soni, who is posted with 13th Battalion of Punjab Armed Police in Chandigarh, has alleged that allegations against him have been “concocted” by the police.
Soni was booked by the Mohali police on the complaint of his wife, Sunita Soni, a former national-level handball player, under Sections 307 (attempt to murder), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 498A (husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) besides the Arms Act. Soni had been untraceable since then. The wife had retracted from her statement, but Soni failed to get relief from the trial court last week.
In her complaint, Sunita had accused Atul of abuse, stating that she was being tortured physically, emotionally and mentally. She had told police that on January 18, Atul had pushed her at a discotheque in Sector 26, Chandigarh, which was a “big humiliation for her”. She alleged that on returning home, Atul had beaten her up and pulled out his gun and shot at her, but in the meantime, her son intervened and she was saved. Police had also recovered a 32-bore unlicensed weapon from the spot.
The court was told that no allegations regarding firing was made by the wife and she has already given an affidavit. The FIR has been registered with a “coloured version” by the police due to some “extraneous consideration”, he claimed in court, adding that the weapon in question has already been recovered and custodial interrogation is not required. He has also raised questions over the firing incident and recovery of weapon from the spot.
The Punjab Police have already recommended his suspension , besides departmental proceedings to the government.