April 14, 2021 12:45:19 am
Three days after the Punjab and Haryana High Court quashed the investigation carried out by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) into the Kotkapura and Behbal Kalan firing cases, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh Tuesday refused to accept the resignation letter of SIT chief IG Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh seeking premature retirement from service.
Kunwar Vijay Pratap had met the Chief Minister on Monday and handed him his resignation. The HC had directed the state government to reconstitute the SIT without Kunwar Vijay Pratap. Amarinder had, however, thrown his weight behind the SIT head and stated that the government will move the Supreme Court against the high court direction.
Sources said that in his resignation, the SIT chief had not mentioned the HC decision. He had stated that he had put in 22 years of service and he wanted to take voluntary retirement.
Sources also said that he was miffed at the way the case was handled by the government in the high court. A senior functionary of the government, however, said that a senior advocate Sidharth Luthara was handling the case, who is one of the best criminal lawyers of the country.
In a statement, while declining the voluntary retirement plea of Kunwar Vijay Pratap, the Chief Minister said he was a highly competent and efficient officer whose services were needed in the border state, especially at a time when Punjab was facing various internal and external security threats.
“The state needs the expertise and experience of the officer, who has contributed exceptional service to the Punjab Police in various important positions,” said the Chief Minister, describing Kunwar Vijay Pratap as a skilled, capable and courageous officer, with an exemplary track record.
Referring to media reports on the Punjab and Haryana High Court’s orders in the Kotkapura case probe, the Chief Minister pointed out that he had already made it clear that any decision of the court that seeks to remove Kunwar Vijay Pratap as the SIT chief or to quash the investigations in the case would be challenged by his government in the Supreme Court.
“The officer and his team have done an excellent job of expeditiously investigating the Kotkapura case, which the Akalis have tried hard to stall for the past four years,” Amarinder said, adding that the probe will be taken to its logical conclusion under the guidance and supervision of the able officer himself.
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