Former DGPs at loggerheads: Ex-DGP Chattopadhyaya didn’t respond to queries, say Punjab cops to high court
A status report filed by the Punjab police in a suicide case of 2018 in Punjab and Haryana high court has revealed that former director general of police (DGP) Siddharth Chattopadhyaya was sent a questionnaire twice in 2018 in this case, but on both the occasions he sought time to reply
A status report filed by the Punjab police in a suicide case of 2018 in Punjab and Haryana high court has revealed that former director general of police (DGP) Siddharth Chattopadhyaya was sent a questionnaire twice in 2018 in this case, but on both the occasions he sought time to reply.
The questionnaire pertained to the suicide case of one Inderpreet Chadha, son of former Chief Khalsa Diwan president Charanjit Singh Chadha, reported in January 2018 in which some names had cropped up.
In the high court, Chattopadhyaya had suggested in 2018 that he was being ‘implicated’ in the suicide case due to his investigation into the case wherein “role of cops” in drugs trade was being probed by an SIT headed by him.
As per the report, the first questionnaire was sent on March 6, 2018 to Chattopadhyaya and another IPS officer Rakesh Chandra. Chandra responded to the questions asked on March 14, 2018. But Chattopadhyaya sought time. He was sent another questionnaire on April 2, 2018, but he again sought time saying he would respond “after obtaining information under the RTI Act from the NRI Commission”, the report states.
On April 6, 2018, Chattopadhyaya claimed before the high court that he was being implicated in the suicide case and acting on his submissions, the court stayed proceedings against him. The “role” of then police chief Suresh Arora and then DGP (intelligence) Dinkar Gupta had come to light during the investigation, he had claimed.
By the time, the SIT led by Chattopadhyaya had submitted two reports. After this, two more reports were submitted, one signed by all SIT members and one by him alone. Now, three reports have been opened and opening of the fourth report, signed by him alone, is being opposed by former DGPs Suresh Arora and Dinkar Gupta. The three reports opened so far do not talk about any “role” played by Arora or Gupta.
Arora in his recent application in proceedings before the high court submitted that Chattopadhyaya acted in a mala fide manner with a view to better his chances of being appointed to the top post of the head of the Punjab police at the relevant time when Suresh Arora was to demit the office and hand over the baton to his successor. Arora was the DGP then and was succeeded by Dinkar Gupta. The dispute over Gupta’s appointment went up to the Supreme Court but the appointment was upheld. Eventually, Chattopadhyaya also became the DGP during the Congress tenure. Gupta is now the National Investigation Agency (NIA) director and Arora is the chief information commissioner (CIC), Punjab. The probe in 2018 suicide case about his “role” remains stayed by the high court.
Meanwhile, the Punjab police have told the high court that acting on the three reports of Chattopadhyaya-led SIT, PPS officer Raj Jit Singh had been sacked. During investigation, all three reports of the SIT shall be taken into account and role of all police officers concerned who may be directly or indirectly helping drug trafficking/smuggling would be examined.