Saini Vs. State of Punjab  INSC 97 (8 February 1994)
M.N.(Cj) Venkatachalliah, M.N.(Cj) Mohan, S. (J)
1994 SCC Supl. (2) 16 JT 1994 (1) 420 1994 SCALE (1)443
writ petition is under Article 32 of the Constitution of India. The petitioner
is a maternal uncle of one Rajinder Saini. The said Rajinder Saini is a
political leader of Congress (1). It is stated in the petition that Rajinder Saini
became an eyesore to the present Chief Minister of Punjab. As a result, political rivalry
Saini was invited to a dinner by the third respondent, Deputy Inspector General
of Police, Ludhiana Range, Ludhiana. At that time he was assaulted.
Thereafter he was asked to disappear from the scene as soon as possible. Since
then the police has been after Rajinder Saini. In order to coerce the surrender
of Rajinder Saini, Daljit Saini alias Mecca and Om Prakash brother-in-law of Rajinder Saini were abducted from
Railway Station, Pathankot on August 9, 1993.
Concerning this incident telegrams were sent to the President of India, Chief
Justice of India, Chief Justices of the High Courts of Delhi at New Delhi and Punjab & Haryana at Chandigarh. But they were of no avail.
sister of the petitioner also sent a letter to the Chief Minister of Punjab but it bore no fruit. Rajinder Saini
moved the High Court of Delhi at New Delhi for anticipatory bail in one of the cases in which he had been
implicated as per disclosure of the offenders under arrest vide FIR No. 311,
Police Station Kalkaji, under Sections 392, 397, 284 read with Section 34
Indian Penal Code in Delhi. He is on interim bail granted in
Criminal Misc. (M) No. 2190 of 1993.
under these circumstances, the writ petition for habeas corpus has been
preferred to direct the respondent to produce Daljeet Saini, son of the
petitioner and Om Parkash, brother-in-law of the petitioner. On October 4, 1993 this Court passed inter alia an
order which is extracted below:
September 22, 1993 upon motion the petition was taken
on board and notices were issued to the respondents. Today when the matter was
called one of the persons viz., Daljit Saini appeared before us. He submitted
that both the persons so detained had been released on October 2, 1993 at Pathankot. The statement of Daljit
Saini was recorded. He is said to be a student of 10th standard and was
allegedly taken into custody on August 9, 1993 and kept in illegal detention till October 2, 1993. In his statement before us he
submitted that he was beaten and tortured during his detention and complains of
some degree of incapacitation of his limbs and stated that he could not walk
and stand steadily. It is, therefore, necessary to have Daljit Saini examined
and medically treated at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences.
direct the Medical Superintendent, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, to medically examine Daljit Saini
and afford him the requisite treatment as may be necessary. A report in this
behalf shall be submitted to this Court within a week from today." 3.In
the counter-affidavit filed on behalf of Respondents 1 and 2, the allegations
in the petition are stoutly denied.
proceeded to state that Rajinder Saini had planned to eliminate the Chief Minister
of Punjab. If the Chief Minister could not be
eliminated then the son of Mr Jatinder Prasad, Political Secretary of the Prime
Minister was to be abducted and he would get them released by intervening and
effecting a bargain. The two persons, namely Bhupinder Singh alias Bhinda and Surjit
Singh alias Kala who were hired by Rajinder Saini committed robbery in the
office of Chhedi Lal and robbed him of cash amounting to Rs 3 lakhs and his
wrist-watch. Rajinder Saini was also an 18 accomplice. It was under these
circumstances the case came to be registered under FIR No. 311 dated July 31,
Dr Jagdev Singh informed the police about the conspiracy hatched by Rajinder Saini
and his accomplice to eliminate the Chief Minister. On the basis of that information
FIR No. 29 dated August 27, 1993 was registered at Police Station No. 6, Ludhiana.
Saini was arrested by Punjab Police on September 16, 1993. The arrestwas made
under FIR No. 158 dated August 27, 1993 registered at Police Station Division
No. 6, Ludhiana. During the course of interrogation of Rajinder Saini in the
above said case under Sections 27/25 of the Arms Act, Sections 302/120-B,
Indian Penal Code and Section 5 of the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities
(Prevention) Act registered at the above said police station, he confessed his
guilt regarding his involvement in various nefarious activities. The confession
was recorded by the deponent on September 26, 1993. A video tape of the
recording of the confession was also made. The original statement and the video
tape have been sent to the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Ludhiana for forwarding
the same to the designated court. English translation of the confession made by
Rajinder Saini was attached as Annexure R-7. The said confessional statement
clearly shows the involvement of Rajinder Saini and his accomplices Bhupinder
Singh alias Bhinda and Surjit Singh alias Kala in the nefarious activities
clandestinely carried out by them.
the said confessional statement also shows that Rajinder Saini accused had sent
one person namely Kultar Singh alias Kaka resident of Village Jawaddi, District
Ludhiana to Hong Kong. It was through this Kultar Singh
alias Kaka that two pistols were arranged for the accused Rajinder Saini. The
above narration of facts clearly show that Rajinder Saini and his accomplices
had been indulging in nefarious activities and the present petition has been
filed solely for the purpose of pressurising the police from not pursuing the
case registered against them and has been filed at their behest.
counter-affidavit further proceeds that neither Daljit Saini nor Om Prakash had
been arrested. The entire story about the alleged detenus has been cooked up by
the petitioner with a view to malign the police. If really they were arrested
on August 9, 1993, as to why the petitioner had kept
quiet all these days is not explained.
telegram sent to the Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court was
registered as Criminal Writ Petition No. 449 of 1993. On a reply filed by the
police the writ petition was dismissed on September 23, 1993. This material
fact has been suppressed from this Court. A separate affidavit on behalf of Om Prakash
has been filed to state that they were picked up by the police on August 9,
1993 and remained there up to October 2, 1993. It was pursuant to the direction
of this Court he was released. Daljit Saini would reiterate the detention and
confirm that he was arrested on August 9, 1993. He and Om Prakash were beaten
up in the night at around 11.30 to 12.08 o'clock. They were taken from Pathankot
to Ludhiana. They were kept in a cell kind of a room with a door having iron
bars. There were four other persons already locked up. Their names were Jamail
Singh Bhati, Kewal Singh (sic) and Surender. Two or three days later the four
persons were shifted and sent to Nabha Jail. The mother of Daljit Saini and the
wife of the writ petitioner also would swear that her son was not relieved even
after the arrest of Rajinder Saini.
8.Mr R.K. Jain, learned Senior Counsel for the petitioner would submit that it
is incorrect on the part of the State to urge that neither Daljit Saini nor Om Prakash
was ever arrested or detained. If it were not true Daljit Saini could not have
given the graphic details as to the detention. The truth of the matter in
relation to the detention requires to be ascertained. Therefore, an inquiry by
judicial officer may be directed by this Court.
G.K. Chatrath, learned Advocate-General of Punjab asserts that neither Daljit Saini
nor Om Prakash was ever arrested or detained. This is nothing but a pressure
tactics adopted by Rajinder Saini who is facing trial in many criminal cases.
However, he has no objection for an inquiry by any judicial officer.
view of the above, it becomes necessary to ascertain the truth relating to the
detention of Daljit Saini and Om Prakash. For this purpose, we hereby direct
the learned District Judge, Ludhiana to conduct an inquiry into the allegations
made in the affidavit and the counter-affidavit and submit a report as to the
veracity of the statements made by either of the parties, particularly in
relation to detention of two persons. The report shall be submitted within four
weeks from the date of the receipt of this order.
List the writ petition after the receipt of the report.