The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Tuesday acquitted former SGPC chief Bibi Jagir Kaur and co-accused in her daughter Harpreet Kaur’s death case.
Pronouncing the order in an open court at about 10 am, Justice AB Chaudhari and Justice Kuldip Singh allowed her appeal and set aside the Patiala CBI special court order of awarding her five years' imprisonment, along with a fine of Rs 5,000.
Kaur, through senior advocate JS Bedi, had moved the High Court after she was convicted of abduction and forcible abortion of her daughter. Both Bibi and the CBI had filed appeals in the case.
The trial court in her case had held: “The prosecution has been able to prove that accused Dalwinder Kaur Dhesi, Paramjit Singh Raipur and Nishan Singh abducted Harpreet, who was a major, by deceitful means….”
Dhesi was Bibi’s “trusted friend” and related to Raipur, who was Bibi’s political confidant.
The trial court had also held: “A conspiracy was hatched for terminating Harpreet’s pregnancy with accused Bibi Jagir Kaur.
However, because the status, political and social, of Bibi was to be safeguarded at all costs, the latter distanced herself from the process of executing the conspiracy and accused Dalwinder Kaur Dheshi, Paramjit Singh Raipur and Nishan Singh, along with approver Dr Balwinder Singh Sohal, took upon themselves to accomplish the object of conspiracy by keeping Bibi Jagir Kaur informed of the developments from time to time”.
The judgment on the appeal was reserved in October. The premier investigating agency has all along been claiming that the trial judge failed to appreciate that Harpreet’s death was homicidal, and “committed a grave error in law in not giving a finding that the death was under mysterious circumstances”.
The investigating agency had asserted that her acquittal of murder charge and destroying evidence was not justified from the record.
The CBI had added in its appeal that Harpreet was abducted on March 18, 2000, from Chandigarh after being sedated. She was confined at her trusted friend Dalwinder Kaur Dhesi's residence Jasdil Mansion in Phagwara.
Her pregnancy was terminated against her will on March 20, 2000, at Kartarpur by Dhesi, Bibi's political confidant Paramjeet Singh and approver Dr Balwinder Singh Sohal.