By LE Desk

Chandigarh, March 20: In a severe indictment of the Punjab Police, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has asserted that the non-registration of an FIR after a man’s unnatural death appeared to be serious dereliction of duty and smacked of “some personal agenda on part of the police officials”.

Making it clear that “there seems to be much more than meets the eye”, Justice Arun Monga directed a Subdivisional Magistrate to conduct a judicial probe into the case. The Director General of Police, Punjab, was also ordered to depute the Inspector General, Amritsar border range, to conduct an inquiry and submit an action-taken report in the case, The Tribune reported.

“Specific reasons, as to why an FIR has not been registered so far, be given in the inquiry report and, other observations of this court be also dealt with,” Justice Monga asserted.

The directions came on a petition filed against the State of Punjab and other respondents by Maninder Pal, whose brother was allegedly murdered. 

Justice Monga said the court’s attention was particularly drawn to the glaring facts and circumstances narrated in the pleas. Not only did the petitioner’s brother die under suspicious circumstances, he allegedly sustained 14 injuries, including two firearm shots. The injuries would naturally lead to the prima facie impression that it was not a case of natural death, but a murder. Yet, an FIR in the matter was not registered till date.

Justice Monga added the state/police officials were duty-bound to register an FIR on being approached and apprised of the facts by the petitioner as it was unnatural death — whether murder or homicide. Truth would emerge only after an investigation into the allegations was carried out. Fixing the case for April third week, Justice Monga made it clear that the SDM, too, would conduct the judicial inquiry into the entire episode before submitting his report by the next date of hearing.

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