Other States

Hand over sacrilege case diaries to Punjab Police, HC tells CBI

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to hand over all case diaries and papers related to cases of the 2015 sacrilege incidents to the Punjab Police within a month.

The High Court’s directions came during a hearing on the plea of one of the accused in the 2015 Faridkot sacrilege incidents, Sukhjinder Singh, challenging the investigation being undertaken by a SIT of the Punjab Police on the ground that the CBI is already seized of the investigation.

The High Court rejected Mr. Sukhjinder’s plea and asked the CBI to hand over all relevant documents and material in the sacrilege cases to the Punjab Police. It further directed the Punjab Police to consider the material handed over by the CBI and file a supplementary challan in the case, for consideration by the trial court. The trial court may then send notice to the accused, if thought fit, the court further said.

Terming the High Court directions as an endorsement of the State government’s stand on the issue, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said it was high time the CBI listened to the courts and handed the case files back to the State so that the perpetrators of the crimes could be brought to justice.

The Chief Minister said his government had been fighting the CBI’s high-handedness for than 2 years, but the agency had failed to heed the various directions and orders of the courts in this time. Asserting his commitment to bring the cases to their logical conclusion, the Chief Minister said the central agency should respect the verdict of the judiciary and stop overreaching the courts at the behest of its political masters.

He said the CBI has been scuttling the SIT probe since the State government withdrew its consent for the probe by the Central agency in 2018. The CBI has been persistently refusing to hand the case files back to State, and in September 2019, went so far as to constitute a new investigative team in a clear bid to obstruct the SIT investigation, after having earlier filed a closure report.

Widespread discontent

The incidents of sacrilege occurred between June to October 2015 following theft of the sacred Guru Granth Sahib from a Gurudwara in Burj Jawaharsinghwala, Faridkot and discovery of torn pages from the holy book in Bargari and Faridkot. They caused widespread discontent and outrage amongst members of the Sikh community.

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Printable version | Apr 15, 2021 3:05:41 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/hand-over-sacrilege-case-diaries-to-punjab-police-hc-tells-cbi/article33496795.ece

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