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Property dispute case: HC raps Jalandhar cops for abusing power

Strongly condemning police action, the court also said that the petitioner will be entitled to cost of Rs 1 lakh to be paid by the Commissioner of Police, Jalandhar, by way of a demand draft, for unnecessarily being dragged into litigation.

Written by Anju Agnihotri Chaba | Jalandhar |
February 28, 2021 9:15:33 am
Property dispute case: HC raps Jalandhar cops for abusing powerThe court also observed that even police authorities have not taken recourse to approach the civil court, where the two suits filed by the petitioner and respondent No.10 are pending. (Express Photo)

In a property dispute case between two brothers, Punjab and Haryana High Court had rapped Jalandhar police commissionerate for exceeding its power and even infringing on jurisdiction of the civil court in the case.

Strongly condemning police action, the court also said that the petitioner will be entitled to cost of Rs 1 lakh to be paid by the Commissioner of Police, Jalandhar, by way of a demand draft, for unnecessarily being dragged into litigation.

The order further said that it will be open for the Commissioner of Police, Jalandhar to recover the cost from erring police officer/s, after conducting an probe in accordance with law.

The case

The matter dated back to 2014 regarding a shop located in Mandi Fenton Ganj area of Jalandhar where two brothers — Narinder pal Singh and Surinderjit Singh – had a dispute over the share in the shop, which was on the name of their deceased mother and later purchased by her son Surinderjit Singh in 2014 in Rs. one crore.

Surinderjit Singh, in a petition against state of Punjab and others (which included his brother as respondent number 10 in the petition) had prayed that “whether the police officials, in the garb of maintaining law and order qua a property, which is subject matter of two pending civil suits before Civil Court, between two real brothers, can put its own lock and hand over key to MHC of police station, without….appointment of a receiver. Such action of police amounts to colourable exercise of power, thereby overreaching the powers of Civil Court, which has even granted stay in favour of one party.”

After hearing the case, the court of Justice Arvind Singh Sangwan said: “It is very strange that ASI Simarjit Singh, on a complaint given by respondent No. 10, has put his own lock and handed over the keys to Munshi/Moharrar of the police station to await the decision of the Civil Court without there being any such order by the competent court. It is well settled principle of law that in case, there is any apprehension of breaching of peace, the police authorities may initiate proceedings under Sections 145/146 CrPC and may apply before the competent court for appointment of a receiver to take possession, however, no such procedure has been followed in the case.”

The court also observed that even police authorities have not taken recourse to approach the civil court, where the two suits filed by the petitioner and respondent No.10 are pending. It said that action of the police clearly amounted to infringing upon the powers of the court, which needed to be condemned strongly.

The High Court also said that even the statement of the witness in this case was ignored and in all enquiries, there is no reference to statement of mother, Mohinder Kaur, who in her statements categorically stated that petitioner is in possession of property and respondent No.10 (her other son) is interfering in petitioner’s possession.

The court said, “It seems that even the civil court is not deciding both the suits, which are pending since 2014, by taking a casual approach, though the same could have been decided in an expeditious manner to avoid financial loss.”

“The zest shown by the police authorities, out of the way, to help private respondents, by exceeding their power and even by overreaching the power and jurisdiction of the civil court is apparent on record. Accordingly, this petition is allowed,” said court.

The civil court has been directed to decide both the suits within a period of nine months.

The Commissioner of Police, Jalandhar was also directed to remove the lock put by ASI Simarjit Singh forthwith from the property.

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