Multiple probes by cops under HC lens

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 10

The holding of multiple investigations by the Punjab Police has once again come under judicial scanner. Taking cognisance of the issue, Justice Manoj Bajaj of the Punjab and Haryana High Court has issued a notice of motion to Punjab and other respondents before staying further proceedings on a Jalandhar resident’s plea for not harassing him.

The developments took place on a petition filed against the state and other respondents by Rajan Chopra through counsel RS Bajaj. Appearing before the Bench, counsel Bajaj contended that the petitioner and his brother Prince Chopra were found innocent in a probe carried out by the police on a complaint submitted by NRI Amritpal Singh.

Bajaj submitted that the FIR was, as such, not registered against them and other persons had been booked. Subsequently, a further investigation was carried out by a Special Investigation Team comprising senior officers of the NRI Wing, Jalandhar, under the court’s orders.

Even then, nothing incriminating was found against the petitioner and his brother. While the report was pending consideration before the court, the complainant submitted yet another complaint directly to Additional Director-General of Police, NRI wing. He ordered further investigation.

Challenging the ADGP’s action, Bajaj contended that the petitioner was found innocent by the investigating teams on two occasions. The report submitted by the SIT was still pending consideration before the court. As such, ADGP had no power to order further investigation and that too without informing or seeking permission from the court.

Bajaj contended that action was also in violation of the instructions issued by the state Director-General of Police. Bajaj pointed out that the High Court had recently taken strict notice of a fresh investigation order passed by an Inspector-General of Police. Passing strictures, the High Court observed, “The conduct of the police officer is contumacious in nature and needs to be probed thoroughly, in as much as he knowing it very well that he had no power to pass such order , especially in view of the fact that once the investigation had concluded in its entirety, there was no necessity to pass an illegal order for reinvestigation of the matter afresh, betraying the faith of general masses and defaming the reputation of the entire police department.” The case will now come up for hearing on April 4.