Kotkapura firing: Faridkot court issues fresh summons against ex-DGP Saini
His application seeking exemption from personal appearance also dismissed, terming it ‘not maintainable’
After former director general of police (DGP) Sumedh Singh Saini failed to appear before the court in connection with 2015 Kotkapura firing case, Faridkot judicial magistrate Ist class (JMIC) Ekta Uppal on Friday issued fresh summons against him for April 16.
The court also disposed of Saini’s application seeking exemption from personal appearance, terming it ‘not maintainable’.
On October 10, 2020, Saini was named as accused in Kotkapura police firing case. On January 18, the special investigation team (SIT), probing the 2015 police firing incidents, filed a supplementary chargesheet against Saini naming him as a conspirator in Kotkapura firing case.
Saini’s counsel filed an application seeking the exemption from personal appearance of the accused on Friday in the court on medical grounds. The defence also attached Punjab and Haryana high court orders putting stay on arrest of Saini. However, the public prosecutor opposed the application.
“The Punjab and Haryana high court stayed the arrest of the accused till March 22 in the present FIR. Then vide the latest order of the high court, the earlier order has been modified, according to which only the arrest of the accused has been stayed. However, the state prosecution has been made at liberty to proceed with the matter in accordance with the law,” said JMIC Uppal.
The prosecution said that Saini’s security officer refused to allow the serving official to meet him. “The summon was pasted and affixed outside the house of the accused being served by affixation,” they added.
“The prosecution’s basic contention is that the accused is intentionally evading the service of summons and is fully aware about the proceedings, and the counsel is also appearing on his behalf so he can not present want of knowledge. On the other hand, the defence has not presented want of knowledge of the proceedings by the accused but their contention is that due to medical reasons the accused could not put in appearance and the prosecution did not make the personal service of the summons at New Delhi, where accused has been for medical reasons. A copy of medical record is there, as per which advisory of five days rest with prescription,” she said.
“But as per the criminal law procedure, once the accused did not appear in the court in person, he cannot be appear through his counsel or anyone else unlike in the civil suit. So, as the accused has not appeared in person to date, question of his exemption from personal appearance for today does not arise. Hence, the application of the defence stands disposed of being not maintainable,” said Uppal.
“Now proceeding further, from the application itself it is inferred that accused is well aware about the proceedings, so question of proper service by summons does not sustain at this stage but nevertheless the defence contention regarding medical reasons of the accused is also on the record. Hence, in these circumstances, once again fresh summons be issued to the accused,” she added.
The prosecution requested for service of summons through some higher official, allowing the request JMIC said “the summons to the accused be issued for April 16 and the investigating agency may get it effected as per the procedure, for effecting the service.”