The Punjab and Haryana High Court dismissed Former Punjab DGP, Sumedh Singh Saini’s plea against the registration of the criminal case against him in Mohali regarding the disappearance of Balwant Singh Multani. He had sought directions to quash the FIR registered against him or refer the matter to Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for the probe in the Multani murder case.
The complainant Palwinder Singh Multani son of Sh. Darshan Singh Multani, IAS (now deceased) and brother of Balwant Singh Multani registered against Saini under sections 364 (kidnapping or abducting in order to murder), 201 (causing the disappearance of evidence of offence), 344 (wrongful confinement), 330 (voluntarily causes hurt), 219 and 120 (B) (criminal conspiracy) [Section 302 IPC added subsequently] of the Indian Penal Code at Mataur police station in Mohali.
It has been alleged that Balwant Singh Multani (hereinafter referred to as ‘the deceased’) was killed in State-managed elimination around the month of December 1991.
The accused in this Multani murder case took the deceased (along with other persons who were taken into custody subsequently) to CIA Staff, Sector 11, Chandigarh and they were kept in illegal custody of SI Satbir Singh, who was being instructed from time to time by the petitioner herein.
Allegedly, it was during the course of their illegal detention, the deceased (Multani) was given third-degree treatment by the accused.
On account of police excesses, the deceased became unwell and on 13.12.1991 an FIR No.440 of 1991 under Sections 212, 216 IPC; Section 25 of the Arms Act, and Sections 3 and 5 of the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act, 1987 was registered against him
He was shown to be an accused in the said case and hence arrested on false allegations by SI Har Sahai Sharma, In-charge of Police Station, Sector 17, Chandigarh in Multani murder case.
Allegedly, it was during the police torture; Balwant Singh Multani succumbed to the ghastly third-degree treatment of the police. Later on, in a pre-planned manner, the deceased was shown to have been declared as a proclaimed offender.
The Court observed in Multani murder case that the petitioner has been provided with Z+ security for his protection and has the resources to engage best of the legal brains whereas the poor complainant, the victim side, out of fear and deficiency of resources may be prejudiced in pursuing the matter if it is transferred out in Multani murder case.
More so, the Court further remarked in Multani murder case, the investigating agency is collecting evidence which is only available in the State of Punjab and it is easier even for the witnesses to get themselves examined before the SIT. The transfer would also result in protracted delay which suits the petitioner at this game of wits who since 1991 has managed to keep the law at bay.
The Court was of the view that allegations against Saini are of very heinous nature and need a thorough probe for keeping alive the faith of the Society in the system of dispensation of Justice.
After hearing the arguments of the counsel appearing for Saini, the Court observed,
“The counsel, though has adverted to at length of the alleged heroic acts of the petitioner and his victimization at the hands of the Politicians, but sad to say that the same does not come to his aid to wash off the blood of the crime from his smudged hands. Moreover, panicked over the law coming close on his heels the petitioner has raked up this subterfuge as a last resort to take undue sympathies of the Court and which are subject to only appreciation at the trial.” (emphasis supplied)
The Court also noted in Multani murder case,
“What has come across to this Court from the records depict the depravity of mind and for which the petitioner deserves no compassion. The celebrated Judge J. Krishna Iyer had remarked “If the use of the power is for the fulfillment of a legitimate object the actuation or catalysation by malice is not legicidal.”