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Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Kotkapura firing: Ex-IPS Kunwar Vijay challenges HC verdict quashing SIT probe led by him

It has been submitted that the process adjudication adopted by the single judge bench was totally contrary to the procedure of the criminal justice system as envisaged under CrPC.

Written by Jagpreet Singh Sandhu | Chandigarh |
August 24, 2021 5:17:28 am
It has been contended further by appellant that “no concrete evidence or concrete proof showing that appellants biased conduct was placed on record”. (Express Photo by Jasbir Malhi)

In a petition that runs into over 1,100 pages, retired IPS officer Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh has challenged the Punjab and Haryana High Court verdict that quashed the SIT probe into the post-sacrilege Kotkapura firing case. Kunwar Vijay Pratap, who was the face of the SIT then, had taken premature retirement after the HC judgment.

A bench of Justices Augustine George Masih and Ashok Kumar Verma has now issued notice to Punjab and other respondents in the LPA (Letter Patents Appeal) that has been posted for hearing on December 7, 2021.

The appellant, Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh, in his petition filed through his counsel, Advocate A P S Shergill, has contended that the judgment dated April 9, 2021, allowed setting aside of “fair, legal, lawful investigation done by the appellant by ignoring all the settled principles of criminal law/rule of law/fair ends of justice related to the fair judicious dispensation of the criminal justice system by assuming the jurisdiction of trial court under the CrPC by deciding a matter which only could have been decided after trial, detailed recording of statement of prosecution witnesses along with material evidence”.

It has been submitted that the process adjudication adopted by the single judge bench was totally contrary to the procedure of the criminal justice system as envisaged under CrPC.

The appellant’s counsel further contended that the main subject matter of the Civil Writ Petition was the filing of the chargesheet which was not part of the CWP and the judge did not examine the main issue and only opined on the reference note of the said chargesheet coming out of investigation.

“.The Ld. Single Judge has declared the investigation as biased, malicious and absurd without even reading the report in detail. On page 70 of the impugned order, the Ld. Single Judge has stated that he will refer only to some specific parts of the report, but it’s a well understood fact that to understand an investigation report it has to be read in its entirety otherwise reading some specific parts will only show a wrong picture. A case where the credentials of a reputed IPS officer were being questioned, such a lax approach cannot be taken and the Ld. Single Judge should have paid close attention to each and every detail involved as the unblemished career of the appellant was at stake. The Ld. Single Judge, reached to the conclusion that the appellant is a person with tendency of misusing his official position and authority in performance of his duties, based on a Division Bench’s judgment that too which was around 10 years old.,” read the petition.

It has been contended further by appellant that “no concrete evidence or concrete proof showing that appellants biased conduct was placed on record”.

“The impugned order starts on a wrong presumption of fact that police was compelled to fire the protesters when they were protesting against sacrilege. The impugned order is based on the presumption that the law and order situation necessitated police firing. The entire impugned order is not sustainable being void ab-initio from the very beginning in the eyes of law as a preset presumption parameter of an incorrect fact has been adopted for passing the impugned order.,” petition further read.

Further mentioning about the findings of the impugned order that said: “Hence, the protest started taking violent turn at about 5.30 am on October 14, 2015”, the appellant has contended that the findings “are disjointed not systematic, they are in a piece meal manner without any co-relation without continuity without assessing the actual point where the incident started.There is complete failure to even analyse which was the specified point of the alleged occurrence so described completely in favour of the district administration/police.Only a story book telling analysis has been done…”

The appellant has submitted in the petition that, “It is obvious that once you open fire on innocent protesting peaceful gathering there will be retaliation as the police on the spot added insult to injury with the pre-planned direction to create a riot as the basic object was to restart violent, political religious unrest much worse than what the state of Punjab had suffered in the dark days of terrorism….”

Singh has thus prayed in the appeal before the HC that the operation of the single bench order shall be stayed during the pendency of the present appeal.

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