Anant Kumar Dhull, a senior IPS officer of Haryana who has been indicted by the Punjab and Haryana High Court for “maliciously prosecuting’’ a Pehowa resident for rape and murder of his own daughter, now heads the state police’s human rights wing as director general.
The case dates back to December 1993 when Dhull was posted as Kurukshetra SP. The HC has imposed a fine of Rs 5 lakh, with 9 per cent interest from the time the petition was filed in 1999, on Dhull and the then Pehowa SHO Gian Singh.
However, even after the scathing indictment by Justice K Kanan, Haryana’s DGP Yashpal Singhal defends Dhull’s conduct as “a bonafide human error’’. “Though I have not read the judgment yet, but to the best of my knowledge it is a case of a bonafide error of judgment. Anybody can commit a mistake. One needs to see if the mistake was malafide. We investigate thousands of cases and sometimes errors of judgment do take place,” Singal told The Indian Express.
Repeated attempts to contact Dhull were in vain; he did not respond to calls on his mobile phone and his office contact numbers, nor to SMSes.
Besides circumstantial evidence, the high court also relied on statements of police officials which showed that Dhull had intervened in the investigation of the case that eventually led to the prosecution of an innocent man.