Suspended Punjab DSP Atul Soni granted bail, wife joins investigation
Suspended deputy superintendent of police (DSP) Atul Soni, who was booked for firing at his wife, was granted bail on Thursday, while his wife Sunita has joined the investigation in the case.
The court of additional district and sessions judge Girish granted Soni bail against bonds of ₹50,000, while Atul’s father RC Soni stood surety for him. The 50-year-old cop’s defence counsel, HS Dhanoa, had submitted before the court that no medical examination of the complainant was conducted after registering the case, and that there was no injury to invoke Section 307 (attempt to murder) against Soni.
“The police are giving a different twist to a matrimonial dispute that arose from a misunderstanding,” said Manpreet Singh Chahal, counsel for the complainant Sunita Soni, who herself is a national-level handball player.
Chahal said, “We had argued before the court that Atul and Sunita have been married for 25 years and the case is jeopardising their relationship.” There were no signatures of Sunita on the recovery memo of the unlicensed .32 bore pistol along with empty shell that the police have claimed to have recovered from the house after registering the case, the court was told.
The DSP, posted with 82 Battalion of Punjab Armed Police in Chandigarh, was booked on January 19, hours after he opened fire at his wife Sunita following an altercation at their Mohali house in Sector 68. A case was registered on her complaint under Sections 307 (attempt to murder), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 498-A (husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty) of the Indian Penal Code besides the Arms Act at the Phase 8 police station in Mohali.
Soni did not join investigation and was placed under suspension. He also faces departmental inquiry. The DSP surrendered before court on March 2 after his anticipatory bail plea was dismissed by Punjab and Haryana high court.
SUNITA JOINS INVESTIGATION
The 47-year old Sunita Soni has joined the investigation and reiterated that no bullet was fired.
Earlier, police had claimed that Sunita herself had handed over an unlicensed weapon—a .32 bore pistol—along with a shell and live cartridge to the police while registering a complaint against her husband. However, Sunita has denied the recovery of the weapon or that she visited the police station.
On January 20, Sunita’s affidavit was leaked on social media, wherein she had stated that no gunshot was fired. “Due to some misunderstanding between my husband and I, a heated argument took place. In order to sort out the matter, our daughter called the police control room to seek help,” she had written in the affidavit, and has now reiterated the same in her statement to the police.