Hindustan Times (Jalandhar)

HC stays proceeding­s against DSP, seeks Punjab Police reply

- Surender Sharma letterschd@hindustant­imes.com

THE COURT ALSO DIRECTED FATEHGARH SAHIB SSP TO FILE AN AFFIDAVIT ON RIGHTS PANEL FINDINGS

The Punjab and Haryana high court has sought an affidavit from Fatehgarh Sahib senior superinten­dent of police (SSP) on findings recorded by the Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC) in a case involving a deputy superinten­dent of police (DSP), Ramandeep Singh. The court also stayed proceeding­s against the DSP and sought response from Punjab Police by July 16.

While dealing with a complaint, the PSHRC had recommende­d registrati­on of an FIR in a complaint and had expressed its anguish that an inquiry officer, Satish Kumar Nanda, along with other officers, tried to destroy the evidence by deleting the CCTV footage, which was not been produced before the commission. The footage would have assisted the commission to ascertain the allegation­s, it said.

The court has acted on the plea from Singh against the commission order of March 18, 2024, recommendi­ng registrati­on of a criminal case against him and other police officers while acting on a complaint filed on May 12, 2023, alleging criminal trespass, extortion, demand and acceptance of bribe and destructio­n of evidence against police officers.

Singh had argued that when the alleged incident took place, he was undergoing training at Maharaja Ranjit Singh Punjab Police Academy, Phillaur. But despite accepting the said fact, the commission has directed registrati­on of criminal case against the petitioner solely on account of the failure by the senior superinten­dent of police to produce the CCTV footage.

The allegation­s in May 2023 complaint were that Singh and 15 other officials kidnapped one Dheeraj Kumar Batta from Patiala highway on May 12, 2023, and was taken to CIA Sirhind, Fatehgarh Sahib, by a team led by Singh. Further, allegation­s were that he was tortured and money was extorted. The complaint was made by wife of Batta, Varsha Batta. The commission had recorded that no CCTV footage from May 11, 2023, to May 17, 2023, was provided even after directions. The commission, however, had concluded that Singh was not personally present at the spot, but was involved in the abduction as a conspirato­r.

The court stayed proceeding­s against the DSP and sought response from Punjab Police by July 16. Besides, the SSP has been asked to file an affidavit about the finding recorded by the commission.

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