Punjab & Haryana High Court grants bail to Kalyani Singh in Sippy Sidhu’s murder case; CBI lacked thorough investigation

Punjab and Haryana High Court

Punjab & Haryana High Court: While allowing the instant bail petition preferred by Kalyani Singh against the FIR dated 13-4-2016 under Sections 302, 120-B, 201 of Penal Code, 1860 and under Sections 25, 27 and 54 of the Arms Act, 1959, Sureshwar Thakur, J., grants a regular bail to the petitioner due to lack of thorough investigation by the CBI.

Facts:

Sukhmanpreet Singh Sidhu, alias Sippy Sidhu, was shot dead near the green park on a pedestrian track by unknown assailants in 2015 at Chandigarh at 10 PM. An intimation was sent to the Police Station through wireless message that a person is lying dead on the streets. The police noticed that the person was carrying injuries on his left cheek and chest and blood was oozing from the injuries.

Initially, the Chandigarh police were investigating the crime but later it was transferred to CBI on 20-1-2016 by Home Secretary, Chandigarh Administration. As a result, the crime event was registered with the Special Crime Branch, CBI, Chandigarh for thorough investigation.

After 6 years, on 15-6-2022, the present petitioner was arrested, based on certain inculpatory evidence as was collected by the CBI. The Investigation Agency informed that on completion of the investigation, it filed a report under section 173 of CrPC in 2020 and requested to take up further investigation with reference to the role of the suspect in Sippy Sidhu’s murder.

The petitioner in the instant case also approached the trial court in July but her bail application was rejected. Hence, this instant bail petition was filed.

Investigation Report by CBI:

  1. Petitioner and the deceased were in a close relationship and the petitioner wanted to marry the deceased. But the family of the deceased was against the marriage as they did not want inter-caste marriage to which the petitioner raised issues.

  2. After the rejection of the marriage proposal, Sippy Sidhu leaked some objectionable pictures of the petitioner to her family and friends. The petitioner asked her friends to delete the pictures saying that these are morphed.

  3. CBI stated that the petitioner had the motive as the leaked pictures and rejection annoyed Kalyani Singh and conspired in the murder of Sippy Sidhu with an unknown assailant.

  4. Investigation revealed that Kalyani Singh, her family members and their relatives were present at a birthday party at the day and time of incident on 20.09.2015 which started from 8:15 P.M. to 11:00 P.M. The other members of the birthday party also corroborated the same.

  5. Petitioner compelled the deceased to meet her at the park where she was present with assailant and killed Sippy Sidhu with a gun.

  6. Though the murder weapon is not found.

  7. Though the polygraph report of the petitioner revealed that on the questions which included the relevant issues like absence from party, presence at crime scene and killing Sippy Sidhu, her answers were found to be deceptive.

Observation and Analysis of this Court:

The Court said “though it was a legitimate expectation from the investigating agency that the crime event becomes solved. However, though for certain reasons best known only to the Investigating Officers concerned, they since the very inception of the crime event, prima facie appears to only for solving the crime event, but without any prima facie tangible evidence rather singularly choosing to inculpate the petitioner in the crime event. The above endeavor appears to be a sequel of the Investigating Agency relegating into the limbo of oblivion all the above referred defects in the investigations as made into the crime event. Therefore, also its prima facie appears that objective and fair investigations have not been carried out into the crime event.

The Court also stated that “the CBI is the prime Investigating Agency and has to live up to its renowned credentials. However, prima facie in the instant case, it has not lived up to its credentials of being the foremost Investigating Agency in the country, from whom it was but expected that the most impartial and objective investigations are made into the crime event, then choosing to only adopt the stand of the aggrieved. Though, the CBI could have taken to seek cooperation from the aggrieved, but only when, prima facie tangible besides credit worthy evidence to support the aggrieved’s stand, did make emergence.”

The Court observed that the untraced report was filed in the year 2020, whereas the investigation was handed over to the CBI in the year 2015. Instead of using the best scientific techniques to inculpate the real offenders, CBI has prima facie chosen to ill indulge in taking the services of tutored and planted witnesses rather merely for solving the crime event through causing the arrest of the present petitioner.

The Court opined that further investigations may ultimately result in all the offenders concerned being brought to inculpation rendering complete justice to the aggrieved and to society at large.

Thus, the Court held that the petitioner is granted regular bail as justice must be done to the aggrieved and also on the basis of lack of thorough investigation by CBI.

[Kalyani Singh v. Central Bureau of Investigation,2022 SCC OnLine P&H 2168, decided on 13-09-2022]


Advocates who appeared in this case :

For the Petitioner: Mr. R.S. Cheema, Senior Advocate

Mr. Sartej Singh Narula, Advocate,

Mr. Sandeep Sharma, Advocate,

Mr. Arshdeep Singh Cheema, Advocate,

Mr. Gurinder Singh, Advocate

Mr. Satish Sharma, Advocate

For the Respondent: Mr. Rajeev Anand, Standing Counsel for respondent-CBI

Mr. R.S. Bains, Senior Advocate

Ms. Aarushi Garg, Advocate

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