In a rare direction,the Punjab and Haryana High Court has directed a Chandigarh lower Court to examine fresh evidence gathered by a husband serving life imprisonment for allegedly getting his wife murdered.
The high court has given two months deadline to the lower court to examine the evidence,record statements of witnesses,cross-examine them and give its verdict.
The high court has passed these orders in the murder of Anuradha Sandhu,wife of Mohali-based property dealer Baljinder Singh,alias Talla.
A boutique owner,Anuradha (34) was found murdered on the intervening night of May 17-18,2008 ,in her Sector 38 (West) residence.
Talla,along with servants Vijay Pal,alias Nikku and Ashok Kumar Shoki,who had executed the crime,were awarded life imprisonment in November 2010.
Now,in a surprising turn of events,Talla has produced evidence accusing the Chandigarh Police of suppressing material evidence from the lower court. In his appeal before the high court,he has challenging the life imprisonment sentence awarded to him.
Other than the grounds on which Talla was awarded life imprisonment,there were two crucial findings by the trial court. Firstly,the prosecution had claimed that Talla had rung up the police control room and lied that his wife had committed suicide.
Secondly,Talla deliberately did not disclose the registration number of the motorcycle which was stolen from his residence the same night. The trial court,while convicting Talla and his two servants,had held that Talla had not disclose material facts to the police.
But now Talla claims to have gathered information under the Right to Information (RTI) Act from the Chandigarh Police,which shows that he had never claimed that his wife had committed suicide. Talla has produced the information containing the police log records . They show that Talla had called up to say his wife was lying dead. He has claimed that the Chandigarh Police had,on its own,recorded that Anuradha had committed suicide.
Moreover,Talla has produced records of Chandigarh Police to prove that he had called the police twice that night. While in his first call he had informed the police about his wifes death,in the second call he had told the police the registration number of his motorcycle which was missing from his house. Talla has claimed,in his appeal before the high court,that he had told the registration number of his motorbike to the police and requested them to flash the number so that the murderer can be arrested.
Finding force in the evidence produced by Talla,the high court has remanded the case back to the lower court to consider the evidence and give a finding within two months. Talla may benefit if the evidence produced by him is found to be correct.
The prosecution had claimed Tallas extramarital affair with a city-based model as the main reason for the murder. It was alleged that Talla had paid his servants to eliminate his wife.