Punjab govt to challenge HC decision if SIT probe in Kotkapura case scrapped or its chief removed


Terming the probe into the Kotkapura firing case as totally fair, impartial and unbiased, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Saturday said his government will challenge in the Supreme Court any orders of the High Court for quashing the investigation of the Punjab Police SIT or removing its chief.

Reacting to media reports in this regard, the Chief Minister said he has directed the state government’s legal team in the case to examine the orders of the Punjab & Haryana High Court as soon as the copy is received, and prepare to challenge the same in the apex court if either the SIT probe is directed to be scrapped or its leader is asked to be removed.

He said he had full faith in the state’s legal team, headed by Siddharth Luthra, Senior Advocate from Delhi, that has appeared for the state in the case before the High Court.

The case will be taken to its logical conclusion and nobody who is guilty will be spared, irrespective of their political affiliation or position, said the Chief Minister, declaring his commitment to fulfilling every single poll promise of his government, including ensuring the much-awaited justice for the families of the victims of the firing case.

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Expressing full confidence in SIT chief Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh, and the probe conducted so far under his supervision, the Chief Minister said he was an extremely competent and experienced officer who had been working relentlessly on the case since the Special Investigation Team was constituted. The inquiry is being conducted in a completely fair and unprejudiced manner by the SIT under the leadership of Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh, he said, adding that neither changing the officer nor setting up a fresh SIT at this stage was unacceptable to his government. He pointed out that the investigations were in an advanced stage, with four challans already filed against persons in the 2015 case that followed the Bargari sacrilege incident, with final reports submitted to the sessions court for trial.

The Chief Minister also slammed Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Badal for continuing to play dirty politics over such a grave and sensitive issue. Rejecting as totally unwarranted and unfounded the allegations of political witch-hunt against the Badals, he said had he wanted to resort to malicious persecution of his political opponents, he would have done it immediately after taking over and not given them such a long rope. “It is because I and my party believe in fair trial that every opposition party and leader in Punjab is today freely criticising my government, without fear,” he added.

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On Sukhbir’s charge of ‘wasting four years in political investigation’, the Chief Minister said it was the BJP-led central government, of which the Akalis were a part, that had been scuttling the probe into the case through the CBI, at the behest of SAD. The Akalis have been playing on the sentiments of the people in this case all along, just as they have been doing on every major issue of Punjab’s interest, including the farmers’ agitation, he added.

“We are morally bound to ensure that the culprits are punished and the innocent families, who have been waiting for justice all these years, get a final closure in the case,” said Captain Amarinder, adding that nothing will be allowed to come in the way of the same.