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Updated: March 31, 2012 00:35 IST

Punjab Minister gets 5-year prison term

Sarabjit Pandher
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Punjab Minister Jagir Kaur (right) being taken to jail after she was awarded five-year jail term by a CBI court, in Patiala on Friday.
Punjab Minister Jagir Kaur (right) being taken to jail after she was awarded five-year jail term by a CBI court, in Patiala on Friday.

Bibi Jagir Kaur, a former SGPC chief, was convicted of forcibly causing her daughter's miscarriage

Though acquitted of murder charge, the special CBI court in Patiala on Friday convicted Punjab Minister and former president of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) Bibi Jagir Kaur of abducting, illegally confining and forcibly causing abortion of her daughter, Harpreet Kaur, almost 12 years ago.

Judge Balbir Singh handed down the sentence of a five-year prison term and ordered Ms. Kaur to pay Rs. 5000 as fine. She broke down after she was taken into custody from inside the court premises to be lodged in the Patiala Central Jail.

Steps down as Minister

Soon after the verdict, Ms. Kaur stepped down as Minister by sending her resignation letter to Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.

Ms. Kaur was made the Minister for Rural Water Supply and Sanitation, Defence Services Welfare, Removal of Grievances and Welfare of Pensioners after she successfully contested the Bholath constituency in Kapurthala district. She is also the head of a religious sect that is headquartered in Begowal in the same district.

According to Central Bureau of Investigation counsel R.K. Handa, the court acquitted Ms. Kaur of the murder charge. However, she was found guilty under Section 120(b) read with Sections 313, 365 and 344 of the IPC, which related to entering into criminal conspiracy to cause an abortion without a woman's consent, kidnapping and wrongfully confining a person for more than 10 days.

Of the six others who were tried, one died during the trial and two were acquitted.

3 others pronounced guilty

The remaining three, including Nishan Singh, who was Ms. Kaur's personal security officer, were also pronounced guilty and handed separate sentences, which would run concurrently.

On April 20, 2000 Harpreet Kaur was cremated after she died under mysterious circumstances. However, no post-mortem was conducted as Ms. Kaur, who then headed the SGPC, claimed that her daughter died of severe food poisoning.

However, a case was registered when a youth, Kamaljit Singh from their village Begowal, claimed that Harpreet Kaur had married him secretly and was pregnant by their child. He accused Ms. Jagir Kaur of getting Harpreet Haur abducted and forcing her to abort the foetus, which ultimately caused her death.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court entrusted the case to the CBI.

Many twists and turns

The case, investigations and trials saw many twists and turns. Many witnesses, including Mr. Kamaljit Singh, turned hostile. Subsequently, he reiterated his charge.

In his reaction to the court decision, president of the State unit of the Congress Amarinder Singh hailed the verdict, saying: “The law has ultimately taken its course and the guilty stand punished.” He said that Ms. Kaur's conviction had reaffirmed the faith of people in the judiciary.

The court has given an good decision, though very delayed. Infact she deserves much worse. Now the people should give their decision too. She should be completely bycotted by all. The govt should apologise for harbouring such criminals in their party. It is shame to the Akali govt that she was cabinet minister in it. It only shows that they don't believe in God, they only pretend to be believing to get votes of people. All people should unite against all bad, corrupt people. This is greatest respect to great lovers of all times.

from:  Rampal Singh
Posted on: Mar 31, 2012 at 11:54 IST

What an irony that the people of Punjab elect such politicians of
extreme criminality and cruelty in a land which produced saint like
Nanak who certainly abhorred violence of any kind to any one and
stressed on pious conduct. This deplorable situation is sadly prevalent everywhere in the country. Can India preach lessons in morality to the
world as is the fashion? The condition in decadent USA is better than
here-once caught on a wrong foot, the game is over for good.

from:  prakash
Posted on: Mar 31, 2012 at 10:15 IST

While Ms. Kaur was found guilty and convicted for 5 yrs jail term on many counts, our English News channels were selectively reporting yesterday that 'Kaur was Aquitted'. None of them even reported the 5 yrs term or her quitting the ministry. It speaks of their 'neutrality' and half baked caliber of their reporters. As per the law of the land any unnatural death should be reported to the police for disposal of the dead body through an Inquest u/s 174 Cr.P.C. The person failing to do so and cause the disposal of such dead body is liable for 2 more counts under IPC i.e. not reporting the unnatural death and concealing the evidence. Hope the CBI and the trial court would have gone in to these counts also.

from:  Prof. N. Gunachandran
Posted on: Mar 31, 2012 at 10:05 IST

Aint it strange that she was a minister until the day she was convicted. Should she be responsible enough to send her resignation earlier. Interestingly she holds a religious post as well, I pity the people who follow the religion with such religious heads. I just wish that her political party and her religious parties do not serve her the positions once she is out of jail in 5 years.

from:  Yash
Posted on: Mar 31, 2012 at 10:03 IST

What was the reason behind her killing?

from:  Ipshit Tarun
Posted on: Mar 30, 2012 at 23:01 IST

i think she deserves that

from:  sandy
Posted on: Mar 30, 2012 at 22:20 IST

Just five years? She killed her own daughter for God's sake! Surely, she deserves more.

from:  R Singh
Posted on: Mar 30, 2012 at 22:07 IST

In Japan three murderers were executed this week. 85% of this peace
loving Nation supports death penalty because they want protection. USA
and China regularly give death penalty on proven premeditated murders.
India is a joke in the pack. While perhaps this lady does not deserve
death penalty as murder may not have been the prime intention, she does
deserve jail for 10 + years, to send a strong message to protect our
young women. Wide implementation of Death penalty is the best protection
for women and children.

from:  Jayan.B
Posted on: Mar 30, 2012 at 21:55 IST

the magistrates should verify the penal amount. I think Rs 5000/- is not much for a minister and she was convicted in miscarriage her own daughter.

from:  anil kumar
Posted on: Mar 30, 2012 at 20:11 IST
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