Read Order: Sukhjinder Singh @ Sunny v. State of Punjab 

Vivek Gupta

Chandigarh, July 20, 2021: Dismissing the plea of an accused in a sacrilege case challenging the SIT’s action of sending his handwriting samples for comparison with those present on the evidence collected, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has said the petitioner was preempting his guilt by raising such objection in the middle of the investigation. 

A Bench of Justice Harnaresh Singh Gill said the petitioner’s counsel could not show what prejudice is caused to the rights of the petitioner by objecting to obtaining of his handwriting samples and sending them for comparison with the handwriting on the derogatory posters.  

“Rather, by raising such objection, mid-way the investigation, the petitioner is preempting his guilt,” observed the Bench in its order while dismissing the plea of the accused. 

The remarks came in response to the petition filed by Sukhjinder Singh, one of the accused in the sacrilege incident wherein posters containing derogatory remarks against the Guru Granth Sahib were pasted near the Gurudwaras of Bargari and Burk Jawahar Singh Wala villages in Punjab’s Faridkot district on the intervening night of September 24 and 25, 2015. 

The petitioner argued that the SIT has no right to move an application before the trial court to get the specimen of his handwriting because during the course of investigation of the said case, the CBI after taking specimen writing of the petitioner got the same compared with the posters in question from the Central Forensic Science Laboratory, New Delhi. 

The CFSL submitted its report on 27.08.2018 in which it was opined that the specimen writing of the petitioner did not match with those incriminating posters in question, the petitioner contended.

The CBI has already submitted a joint closure report on 04.07.2019 before the Special Magistrate, CBI Court at Mohali and found the petitioner and other accused innocent, stated the petitioner. 

Hearing the petition, the bench held that the earlier handwriting samples of the petitioner had been taken in connection with a separate FIR dated  02.06.2015 and not in the present FIR dated 25.09.2015. Thus, the prosecution cannot be restrained from obtaining the handwriting samples of the petitioner in latter FIR. 

“The petitioner’s counsel argued that there cannot be any estoppels against law. However, I do not  find any merit in the said submission.  No case law could be referred to by petitioner’s counsel In support of his aforesaid submission nor could he point out any  statutory provisions to this effect,” the Bench observed.

The high court further stated that the judgments of the Supreme Court in Ram Chaudhary Vs. State of Bihar and K. Chandrasekhar and others Vs. State of Kerala, only relate to the further investigation and its scope. However, the same do not deal with the situation emerging in the present case. 

As argued by learned State Counsel, the petitioner counsel’s could not show as to what prejudice is caused to the rights of the petitioner by objecting to obtaining of his handwriting samples and sending them for comparison, the bench said. 

“Rather, by raising such objection, mid-way the investigation, the petitioner is preempting his guilt,” it said. 

The HC further said that additionally, the order dated 01.06.2021 passed by the Magistrate (where petitioner’s similar plea was turned down) was never challenged by the petitioner. “Rather, a very circumventing procedure had been adopted by the petitioner in moving an application for discarding the request of the prosecution for comparison of the handwriting samples of the petitioner, which was already allowed vide order dated 01.06.2021. The said process amounts to virtual recalling of the order dated 01.06.2021. There being no provision for allowing such a course, the very application moved by the petitioner, is not maintainable.” 

“In view of the above, finding no merit in the present petition, the same is hereby dismissed,” the court held.

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