Court makes excoriating remarks against prosecution’s case, says ‘factual gaps, loopholes and missing links’
A local court acquitted two policemen in an 11-year-old murder case in which the son of a National Conference politician was shot dead in Jammu’s Shastri Nagar.
Jammu’s former senior superintendent of police (SSP) Manohar Singh and Gandhi Nagar police Station’s Station House Officer Sultan Mirza were both acquitted in the murder case of Amandeep Singh, son of former NC Member of Legislative Assembly Deepinder Kour. A third policeman, sub-inspector Satnam Singh, who died when the case was still being tried, was also acquitted.
Amandeep Kaur was killed outside his Shastri Nagar home on August 29, 2009. Jatinder Singh alias Raja, son of an influential businessman Choudhary Nagar Singh alias Nago, was a prime suspect in the case. Raja died under mysterious circumstances in Udhampur jail in 2017.
A fourth cop, Udhampur jail superintendent, was also arrested on charges of conspiring to kill Amandeep Singh’s uncle.
The court, in its 178 page verdict, held Jatinder Singh alias Raja, son of an influential businessman Choudhary Nagar Singh alias Nago, and another suspect, Royal Singh, guilty of the murder. Raja died under mysterious circumstances in Udhampur jail in 2017 while the case was still being tried.
The court however was scathing of the investigation conducted in the case, saying the prosecution case suffered from “factual gaps, loopholes and missing links”.
“Prosecution has miserably failed to prove the relevant facts leading to the occurrence and role played by other accused persons in conspiracy of swapping of alleged weapon of offence to screen the main accused and also for changing the bullet during investigation on the basis of evidence, which is conflicting, contradictory and suffers from factual gaps, loopholes and missing links, beyond reasonable shadow of doubt, so the benefit of doubt goes to accused, namely, Nagar Singh, Jagar Singh, Rakesh Singh, Manohar Singh, Sultan Mehmood Mirza and S.H. Bukhari. Resultantly, the challan against these accused fails and is accordingly dismissed so far it pertains to these accused persons,” the court said observed.
—Amandeep Singh was murdered on August 29, 2009 at Shastri Nagar Jammu.
—On Manohar Singh, who was SSP Jammu at that time, was suspended on September 18, 2009, for his alleged role in swapping the pistol (weapon of offence) used in the murder.
—On September 28, 2009 Manohar Singh along with the then SHO Gandhi Nagar, Sultan Mirza and Investigation Officer (IO) of the case SI Satnam Singh were arrested.
—On March 25, 2011, superintendent of Udhampur jail was arrested today for alleged involvement in a conspiracy to kill uncle of deceased Amandeep Singh.
—On March 5, 2014, the Court of Additional Sessions Judge, Jammu, had rejected Manohar Singh’s bail application.
—On May 13, 2014, Manohar Singh got bail from Supreme Court and was released from Kot Bhawal jail.
—On September 9, 2015, the then PDP-BJP government revoked suspension of Manmohar Singh.