Sippy murder case: Comply with order to provide documents to Kalyani within 2 weeks, HC tells CBI - Hindustan Times
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Sippy murder case: Comply with order to provide documents to Kalyani within 2 weeks, HC tells CBI

By, Chandigarh
Oct 06, 2023 09:28 AM IST

On May 8, HC had told CBI to provide Kalyani Singh, the prime accused in the murder case, the probe documents sought by her in two weeks; but five months later, the agency is yet to comply

The Punjab and Haryana high court has directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to provide probe documents, as directed in its May 8 order, within two weeks to Kalyani Singh, the prime accused in the 2015 Sippy Sidhu murder case.

National-level shooter and lawyer Sukhmanpreet Singh, better known as Sippy Sidhu, was shot dead at a park in Sector 27 on September 20, 2015. His family has maintained that Kalyani, daughter of a former Punjab and Haryana high court judge justice Sabina (retd), killed him as they had turned down her marriage proposal. (HT File Photo)
National-level shooter and lawyer Sukhmanpreet Singh, better known as Sippy Sidhu, was shot dead at a park in Sector 27 on September 20, 2015. His family has maintained that Kalyani, daughter of a former Punjab and Haryana high court judge justice Sabina (retd), killed him as they had turned down her marriage proposal. (HT File Photo)

“A period of five months certainly cannot be said to be a short period so as to take a lenient view in the matter. The CBI not having furnished copies of the documents for a period of about five months, despite the fact that there is no stay order from Hon’ble Supreme Court, amounts to non-compliance,” the bench of justice Gurvinder Singh Gill said, disposing of a plea initiated following a communication from the special CBI court judge, Chandigarh, on August 8, complaining about non-compliance of HC’s May 8 order.

High court had taken up the communication on judicial side for the first time on September 5.

National-level shooter and lawyer Sukhmanpreet Singh, better known as Sippy Sidhu, was shot dead at a park in Sector 27 on September 20, 2015. His family has maintained that Kalyani, daughter of a former Punjab and Haryana high court judge justice Sabina (retd), killed him as they had turned down her marriage proposal.

The case was initially probed by the Chandigarh Police, but in 2016, it was transferred to CBI. The central agency had at one point of time also filed an “untraced” report. But in June 2022, she was arrested by CBI and later charged with murder. Since September 2022, Kalyani has been out on bail.

On May 8 this year, high court had observed that “..the police and the prosecution are integral part of criminal justice administration system, but their job is not just to secure conviction once FIR is lodged, but to find out the truth and to place all facts before the court, whether establishing guilt or innocence” and directed that investigation documents/data, as sought from CBI, be supplied to Kalyani.

On May 30, the high court had given CBI six more weeks after it submitted that the order was to be challenged before the apex court. CBI had filed another application for more time, but it was dismissed by high court on July 31. Thereafter, another application was filed, but it was also dismissed on August 16.

In the latest hearing on October 4, the CBI counsel told the court that on September 15, the matter was taken up by a Supreme Court bench, but the hearing was deferred as the judge recused herself from hearing the matter. The next date has not been notified so far, but the hearing could be listed for November 21.

The high court bench observed that directions were issued on May 8 to provide the documents in question within two weeks. However, the same was not done despite extensions having been sought and granted.

The bench of justice Gill said a period of five months cannot be said to be a “short period”. CBI has moved Supreme Court, but the case was pending and there was no stay on the May 8 order.

Hence, this court does not deem it appropriate to prolong the matter further, the bench added, directing CBI to strictly comply with its May 8 order within two weeks, failing which necessary action will be taken for “non-compliance”. The court, however, said CBI may take steps for getting the matter listed before Supreme Court at an earlier date.

CBI dragging feet since May

May 8: HC directs CBI to provide requisite documents to Kalyani Singh, the prime accused in the Sippy Sidhu murder case, within two weeks

May 30: HC gives CBI six more weeks to either comply with the order or approach SC against its May 8 order

July 31: HC dismisses CBI application seeking another extension of time, observes it remains unexplained why CBI took so long to decide

August 9: Special CBI court writes to HC apprising it of its May 8 order not being complied by CBI

August 16: HC dismisses fresh application from CBI seeking two more weeks to comply

September 5: HC takes judicial note of CBI judge’s letter, seeks response from CBI

September 15: An SC bench takes up matter, but the judge recuses from hearing the matter

October 4: HC asks CBI to comply with the order within two weeks or face “necessary action for non-compliance”; says it may approach SC for earlier hearing date.

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