The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Friday declined anticipatory bail to controversial former Gurdaspur Superintendent of Police Salwinder Singh in a case registered against him for rape and corruption on August 3.
Dismissing the anticipatory bail petition moved by Salwinder, Justice MMS Bedi said that though the investigation of the case is at initial stage and Salwinder has joined investigation on court’s directions but still he could destroy evidences if granted bail. The court also observed that prima facie case is made out against Salwinder though the details would come out during further investigation.
It was on August 3 that a case under Section 376-C (rape by a public servant after taking advantage of his official position) and the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, was registered at City Police station, Gurdaspur, against Salwinder.
Earlier the High Court had on August 22 stayed his arrest and directed him to join the investigation. Punjab’s Additional Advocate General Aditya Sanghi informed the court that after going through the telephonic conversation between the victim lady and Salwinder, it is prima facie made out that Salwinder demanded Rs. 50,000 from the victim along with sexual favours.
He added that Rs. 50,000 is yet to be recovered from Salwinder and just two days back one more case has been registered against him for sexual harassment. On the basis of complaints by 5 lady police personnel working under Salwinder, a committee headed by Inspector General of Police Gurpreet Kaur Deo had earlier this week found Salwinder guilty of misusing his official position in order to establish physical relation with women staff.
Salwinder, presently posted as Assistant Commandant with 75th battalion of Punjab Armed Police at Jalandhar, had hit headlines after his SUV was allegedly kidnapped by Pakistani terrorists before they carried out an attack on Pathankot Air Force Base in January this year. National Investigation Agency (NIA) had questioned Salwinder over his claims after inconsistency was found in his revelations about his abduction along with his cook and a jeweler friend.
August 3 case was registered after a probe conducted by Pathankot SP (Headquarters) GS Khurana found Salwinder guilty as there were mobile call records between the alleged Gurdaspur-based victim woman and Salwinder. The probe was done after a complaint was made by woman’s husband with the Punjab Chief Minister during Sangat Darshan alleging that Salwinder had physically exploited his wife and had in May 2014 demanded Rs. 50,000 as bribe for dropping a pending rape case against him (woman’s husband).
Gurdaspur Additional District and Sessions Judge, Kamaljit Lamba, had on August 11 denied anticipatory bail to Salwinder Singh.
Salwinder’s counsel had submitted before the High Court that the complainant had made the complaint against the police officer after a delay of two years and it was a false complaint just to harass him.