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Army colonel Bains charged with murder over road rage

Trial from March 1: Court says army officer had ‘intentionally jolted, thrashed and slapped the deceased’ .

punjab Updated: Feb 17, 2018 11:51 IST
Aneesha Bedi
Aneesha Bedi
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
road rage,Chandigarh road rage case,murder
Colonel Manvir Singh Bains in the district courts in Chandigarh.(HT File )

A Chandigarh trial court on Friday charged an army officer, Col Manvir Singh Bains, with murder in a September 2017 case of road rage.

The court of additional district and sessions judge Ashwani Kumar charged Bains under Section 302 (punishment for murder) along with Section 304-2 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The maximum punishment for murder is life imprisonment and it’s 10 years for culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

Though the police had filed charges of culpable homicide not amounting to murder against the accused, the court observed that Col Bains, currently out on bail, had “intentionally jolted, thrashed and slapped the deceased” and charged him with murder. The trial will begin on
March 1.

The altercation

Col Bains, a 48-year-old resident of Phase 7 Mohali, was arrested on September 2 and booked for murder after a scuffle with Parveen Yadav, 38, on the dividing roads of Sector 34 and 35 in Chandigarh, had led to the latter’s death.

Yadav, a distributor of electrical goods, was in his Chevrolet Beat and the driver of a Skoda in which Col Bains and his wife were travelling asked him to stop and get out of the car. Yadav had collapsed in the ensuing scuffle and declared dead when he was taken to hospital .

How the case unfolded
  • September 2, 2017: Col Bains arrested after Parveen Yadav dies in a scuffle on the road dividing Sector 34 and 35
  • October 26: UT police file challan for culpable homicide not amounting to murder
  • November 11: Col Bains gets bail from HC
  • February 1, 2018: Col Bains gets anticipatory bail (under murder charge) from HC
  • February 16: A district court charges Col Bains with murder

Subhash Sagar, the counsel for Yadav’s family, had argued that the FIR had mentioned that Yadav was being chased by the accused, who had also forced him to stop the car.

The intention for murder was clear, Sagar had alleged. Col Bains had threatened Yadav and asked him to come out of the car and had delivered “blows” and caught him by his shoulder, which led to his death.

Arguing for the defendant, Satinder Singh Narula, had appealed that the accused be charged with Section 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt) of IPC.

Though the inquest proceedings had simply mentioned that the deceased was “shaken” at around 1:35pm, when the complainant’s statement had been recorded at 6:35pm the same evening, it was also mentioned that Yadav had been shaken and slapped by the accused.

“The word “mukka” (punch) was the only word outside the margin in the written FIR,” argued the defence lawyer. The medical report had concluded that the cause of death was natural, he said.

What the families say
  • Meanwhile, reacting to the decision of the trial court, Meenakshi Yadav, Parveen Yadav’s sister, said the family had been traumatised by his death and wanted justice.
  • “I was admitted to hospital, my mother suffered a heart attack. My brother’s children are being counselled daily as someone or the other in their school talks to them about the tragedy,” she said.
  • Standing firm by her husband, Lipakshi Bains, wife of Col Bains, said she had full faith in the judiciary. “My husband is innocent and he will come out innocent,” she declared

Narula claimed that as there was nothing on record to show that the accused knew that his actions would lead to Yadav’s death, he could not be charged with culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

What lawyers say

Asked to comment on the case, Rabindra Pandit, a crminal lawyer in the Chandigarh district courts, said while the court’s decision could not be questioned, it seemed to be a case of culpable homicide not amounting to murder rather than murder, since the accused didn’t know the victim. Neither was Col Bains aware of Yadav’s medical condition.

Ranjan Lakhanpal, senior advocate, Punjab and Haryana high court, felt at the most it could be a case of Section 323 IPC and not murder.

The colonel had got anticipatory bail for murder earlier this month.

It was also learnt that the army was supporting him since a medical report had confirmed the cause of death to be natural.

First Published: Feb 16, 2018 13:23 IST