Delayed & denied: 87-year-old dies awaiting justice for his son For 27 years, he fought to bring ‘murderers’ to bookAneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, December 11
In a glaring example of "justice delayed is justice denied", an 87-year-old man fighting a legal battle over the alleged murder of his son for the past 27 years died before he could see the verdict.
Allah Singh, a Patiala resident, prayed and fought for justice into the alleged murder case of his son ardently. His body had turned frail but not his desire to fight for justice in the case. He died yesterday at his residence in Patiala much before he could see the judgment in the case that has been hanging fire since 1985.
“I want to see justice before my death,” was Allah Singh’s last wish as he often narrated his ordeal to mediapersons during court hearings. For the past six months, he had not been coming to court due to his ill health. Allah Singh’s body was cremated today.
The CBI court of Vimal Kumar was today informed about Allah Singh's death by his advocate Vinay Jhingan. During a resumed hearing of the case today, three witnesses were examined, including the doctors who conducted the postmortem of his son. Defence arguments are being heard in court in the case. While it is not known when the case will meet its logical end, Allah Singh will not be there to see the verdict.
“He vowed to fight till his last breath to ensure that his son’s soul rested in peace. His wife died four years ago waiting for justice. Now, Allah Singh has also died without seeing the verdict. Their wish remained unfulfilled,” said Allah Singh’s elder son Kanwarjeet Singh.
Kanwarjeet and his wife were brought to the country from the USA to appear as witnesses in the case.
On July 8, 1985, Allah Singh got a phone call informing him that his son Inderjeet Singh had died. Inderjeet's body was found hanging in a rented accommodation in Sector 34. The UT police had dismissed it as a case of suicide. Allah Singh refused to believe the police theory. “He was very brave and strong,” he used to say.
After endless inquiries, writs and re-investigations, a case of murder of Inderjeet Singh was finally admitted in the sessions court.
After the accused got bail, Allah Singh moved the Supreme Court, which shifted the case to the CBI. As many as 45 witnesses were examined in court. Five of them are already dead. Allah Singh had lodged a complaint with the police against Hardev Singh and Harpreet Singh, owners of the house where his son was living as a tenant. He accused them of his son’s murder as they had an ongoing dispute over vacating the house.
Ever since the hearing into the case began, Allah Singh had been coming to attend court hearings from Patiala with the ardent hope that the judgment would be pronounced before his departure from this world.
Case was investigated 5 times
As Allah Singh was not satisfied with the investigation carried out by the police, which claimed it was a suicide, the court asked the CBI to carry out the investigation again.
Investigations were carried out five times into the case. Of the five investigations, two concluded that it was a murder while the rest claimed it was suicide.
Over 2,000 hearings
Ever since his son Inderjeet Singh’s death in 1985, Allah Singh had been coming to court by bus from Patiala twice every week. He attended over 2,000 court hearings. He retired as a railway employee in 1983 and spent all his pension and savings on legal aid. He spent close to ~4 lakh on getting documents photostated all these years, said his family members.“I want to see justice before my death,” was Allah Singh’s last wish as he often narrated his ordeal to mediapersons during court hearings. While it is not known when the case will meet its logical end, Allah Singh will not be there to see the verdict.
The living case of the dead
Eight months after Inderjeet's death, an inquiry by the UT police pointed to murder
A closure report was filed following which Allah Singh went to the Supreme Court, which shifted the case to Patiala
A CBI inquiry in 1994 concluded it was a suicide case
Allah Singh again moved court, following which the CJM ordered a re-investigation
When CBI filed an application for cancelling the case, Allah Singh protested
He moved protest petitions to successive Presidents, PMs, ministers and Governors of Punjab
The report submitted by then DIG of the CBI KC Kanungo held that former CBI SP RK Pachnanda, DSP DS Mann and DSP SL Gupta floundered in declaring it a case of suicide and it was actually a murder
In 2000, the trial again started after the CBI finally termed the death as homicide