The accused in police custody.
The accused in police custody.

HC dismissed dera man’s plea against resending handwriting samples to lab

Sukhjinder Singh, alias Sunny, a Dera Sacha Sauda follower, moved an application in HC demanding that the SIT be stopped from re-examining his handwriting samples
By Parteek Singh Mahal
PUBLISHED ON JUL 20, 2021 12:33 AM IST

The Punjab and Haryana high court on Monday dismissed a Dera Sacha Sauda follower’s plea challenging the special investigation team’s move of resending his handwriting samples to match it with the writings on derogatory posters pasted at Faridkot’s Bargari village in September 2015 to the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL), Chandigarh.

Sukhjinder Singh, alias Sunny, a Dera Sacha Sauda follower, moved an application in HC demanding that the SIT be stopped from re-examining his handwriting samples. Sukhjinder is among four accused in the case, besides Shakti Singh, Ranjit Singh and Baljeet Singh.

In a desecration incident, three derogatory posters were pasted near gurdwaras of Bargari and Burj Jawahar Singh Wala villages in Faridkot district on the intervening night of September 24 and 25 in 2015. On July 9, the HC restrained the SIT probing the sacrilege cases from submitting a chargesheet (challan) against accused and the court reserved order for Monday.

The HC bench of justice HNS Gill said that indisputably the handwriting samples of the petitioner had been obtained by the probe team after the petitioner had given his consent in the presence of his counsel. “The petitioner’s counsel could not show as to what prejudice is caused to the rights of the petitioner by objecting to obtaining of his handwriting samples and sending them for comparison. Rather, by raising such an objection in the middle of the investigation, the petitioner is pre-empting his guilt,” he added.

“It may further be noticed that the earlier handwriting samples of the petitioner had been taken in FIR 63 and not in the present FIR 117. Thus, the prosecution cannot be restrained from obtaining the handwriting samples of the petitioner in FIR 117. Besides, the order passed by the magistrate was never challenged by the petitioner,” the HC bench said dismissing the plea.

On June 1 this year, the SIT collected samples of Sukhjinder to match them with the writing on the derogatory posters claiming that one of the posters was written by him.

In the three posters, it was threatened that the “bir” of Guru Granth Sahib stolen from Burj Jawahar Singh Wala on June 1 2015 would be torn if the now jailed Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim-starrer film Messenger of God (MSG)-2 was not allowed to be released in Punjab.

The SIT led by then deputy inspector general (DIG) Ranbir Singh Khatra in 2018 had claimed that the handwriting of the accused dera followers had matched with the ones on the posters. But the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in its closure report filed in a Mohali court in July 2019 said the handwriting samples of the accused dera followers it had sent to the CFSL in Delhi did not match with the ones on the posters.

On CBI’s handwriting samples report, Gaurav Garg Dhuriwala, deputy advocate general, had told the court that the necessity to obtain the handwriting samples of the petitioner again has arisen in view of the fact that earlier samples had not been taken according to the set procedure.

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