Former DGP S K Sharma, three others acquitted in murder case

A local court today acquitted Punjab's former Director General of Police (DGP) S K Sharma and three other former policemen, facing charges of murder, kidnapping and criminal conspiracy in a 25-year-old fake encounter case.

The District and Session Judge B S Sandhu today acquitted all the accused cops giving them benefit of doubt.

The court had framed charges of murder and kidnapping against Sharma and three other police personnel on June 3, 2014.

They were charged under section 364 (kidnapping or abducting in order to murder), 302 (murder), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence or giving false information to screen offender), 120-B(criminal conspiracy) of IPC in fake encounter of Kuldip Singh, a resident of village Amrali under Morida Police Station, in 1991.

The three others against whom the charges were framed included the then Station House Officer (SHO) of Morinda Balkar Singh, the then DIG (retd) SPS Basra, Assistant Sub Inspector (retd) Gurcharan Singh.

All the accused were today present in the court.

Relatives of Kuldip Singh raised slogans against the police officers and expressed resentment over the judgement.

Kuldip's father, Ajaib Singh alleged that his son, aged 21 and a student of Punjabi University was picked up by the police on October 24, 1990 from Krishna Mandi area of Morinda town where he along with his cousin, Jasbir Kaur, had gone to buy medicines. Police had denied that Kuldip was in their custody.

According to prosecution, on May 15, 1991, Ajaib read newspaper reports regarding the statement issued on behalf of SK Sharma that one Kuldip Singh of Amrali village, falling under the Morinda police station, was wanted in many cases of extortion, robbery and dacoity and was killed in an encounter on May 1 at village Tholiwal under Barnala Police station.

Ajaib then approached the authorities for justice and finally, a case was registered under Section 364 and 34 Indian Penal Code(IPC) on August 13, 1998 at Morinda Police Station.

However, after investigations police filed cancellation report in the court but Ajaib Singh dissented with the same and filed protest petition in the court of additional chief judicial magistrate, Rupnagar.

All accused were on bail during trial.