HC directs court to swiftly complete trial in 1994 triple murder case involving ex-Punjab DGP

Delhi HC has ordered an expedited trial in a 1994 triple murder case involving former Punjab police chief Sumedh Singh Saini. The court declined to transfer the case, urging the current judge to conclude it swiftly. The case stems from alleged murders orchestrated by Saini while he was SSP of Ludhiana. The CBI accuses Saini and other officers of conspiring to kill three individuals with ties to Saini Motors. Despite the case being decades old, the high court noted that the trial is not nearing completion.

PTI | New Delhi | Updated: 06-05-2024 19:31 IST | Created: 06-05-2024 19:30 IST
HC directs court to swiftly complete trial in 1994 triple murder case involving ex-Punjab DGP
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The Delhi High Court has asked a subordinate court to endeavour to expeditiously conclude the trial in a 1994 triple murder case in which former Punjab police chief Sumedh Singh Saini is an accused.

The high court, however, refused to transfer the case to another trial court, saying there was no ground for allowing the plea.

“This court is sanguine that the special judge dealing with the present case will be equally sensitive to the long pendency of the trial and shall make every endeavour to conclude the trial as expeditiously as possible.

''The special judge is requested to ensure that no unnecessary adjournments are granted in the matter,” Justice Jyoti Singh in a recent order.

The petition had sought the transfer of the case from the court of Sunena Sharma, Special Prevention of Corruption Act Judge, to the court of Additional District Judge Naresh Kumar Laka, who had heard the matter at length on various dates before being transferred to his present roster.

The case is going on in the Rouse Avenue Court here.

''The present case is one of the oldest identified cases (FIR is of the year 1994) being a 30-year-old matter and because of the transfer, the new judge will have to rehear the matter again, which would result in further delay,'' the petition said.

The transfer petition has been filed in the high court by Ashish Kumar, brother of one of the three victims.

The counsel for Saini opposed the plea saying that the matter cannot be transferred merely on the ground that the judicial officer has been transferred.

He said as per administrative instructions, only in the cases where judgment is reserved, the judicial officer under transfer shall notify those cases and pronounce the same on the date fixed or within a maximum period of two to three weeks.

The high court, while perusing the trial court record, said it is not wholly correct for the petitioner to urge that the matter is on the verge of conclusion.

It also perused the administrative decision of the high court and said there is no provision for the transfer of all or any matter with the transfer of the judge to his next court.

“In the present case, the judge (ADJ Laka) had only heard part arguments and cross-examination of …. (prosecution witness) is yet to be concluded.

''It may also be noted that being a CBI matter, Special Judge (PC Act) (CBI), Rouse Avenue Courts, is designated to hear these matters and Sh. Laka is currently posted as ADJ-07, Central, Tis Hazari Courts. In the opinion of this Court, no ground for transfer is made out,” Justice Singh said.

According to the plea, the criminal case is at the stage of final arguments in the trial court.

It said that Judge Laka had heard final arguments for five days when the case was transferred to another court on March 19 this year and the new judge will now hear the matter.

The case pertains to the alleged involvement of Saini, the then SSP of Ludhiana, in the kidnapping and murder of three persons - Vinod Kumar, Ashok Kumar and their driver Mukhtiar Singh -- in 1994 in Ludhiana.

The CBI has alleged that the three men were murdered at the behest of Saini who hatched a conspiracy in connivance with other accused policemen Sukh Mohinder Singh Sandhu, Paramjit Singh and Balbir Chand Tiwari to settle a personal score against the owners of Saini Motors, an automobile dealership in Punjab.

Vinod and Ashok were chief financiers to Saini Motors.

The case was registered by the CBI on April 18, 1994, against Saini and others on the orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court and was transferred to Delhi by the Supreme Court in 2004.

Saini was charge-sheeted along with others in a case of abduction, wrongful confinement and criminal conspiracy.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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