Decided on November 11,1957

STATE Respondents


- (1.) BY this petition under Section 3 of the Contempt of Courts Act, the petitioner prays that S. Par-tap Singh Kairon, Chief Minister, Punjab, should be committed for contempt of court for interfering with a judicial enquiry pending before a magistrate of the 1st class at Karnal.
(2.) THE petitioner is one Piara Singh, a resident of the Karnal district. He states that on 7-7-1957 a brutal murder was committed in village Rukhsana of the Karnal district in which Hazara Singh and Piara Singh sons of one Kirpa Singh were among the culprits. As this murder was one in a chain of murders committed by the gang of Hazara Singh in the Karnal district, the authorities concerned were deeply perturbed and had warrants of arrest issued against the culprits on 12-71957. While the police were looking for the perpetrators of the crime in all likely places the badmashes who are known to the Chief Minister went and took shelter under his roof. On 14-7-1957 Shri Asa Singh, Secretary to the Chief Minister, contacted the Superintendent of Police, Karnal, on telephone and informed him that Hazara Singh and Piara Singh had approached the Chief Minister and had stated that the police had raided their houses for purposes of arrest, that they apprehended a danger to their lives from their opponents and that they should be given the necessary protection. The Superintendent of Police informed Shri Asa Singh that Piara Singh and Hazara singh were dangerous bad characters and were proclaiming to kill the prosecution witnesses of a murder against them. He accordingly request-ed Shri Asa Singh to arrest these bad characters immediately. At about 10 o' clock the same night one iqbal Singh of Samana Bahu learnt that Hazara Singh and party had come to the neighbourhood of the village with the object of killing Iqbal Singh, the petitioner and the other members of his party. On receipt of this information Iqbal Singh hastened to notify the police of the danger which he was apprehending. The police surrounded the village and asked the petitioner and his companions to hold themselves in readiness for an encounter. At about 1. 30 a. m. Hazara Singh, Piara singh and Gian Singh. came towards village Samana Bahu but were challenged by the police. As the dacoits opened fire the police fired back in reply. As a result of this encounter the three dacoits were killed. A Magistrate held an enquiry under section 176 of the Code of Criminal Procedure which was undertaken immediately to enquire into the cause of the death of these three persons and people were summoned to come and state before the Magistrate what they knew about the incident of 22-7-1957.
(3.) AFTER a number of hearings before Shri Onkar Nath Magistrate Shrimati Hukam kaur, widow of Kirpa Singh and mother of Hazara Singh and Piara Singh, appeared before the Magistrate on 14-8-1957 and began her statement After the very first sentence she requested for permission to bring a counsel with her. This permission was allowed. She went out and came back with Shri Dewan Chand Bali her counsel and stated in his presence that she could not make statement as she was still under the shock of the death of her two sons and wanted ten days adjournment. The learned Magistrate adjourned the case to the 21st August. On this later date she made a detailed statement in which she referred to the telephonic conversation between the Chief Minister and the Superintendent of Police and her interviewing with the Chief Minister who had sympathised with her. Even before the 14th August she sent an application to the Chief Minister that after the death of her sons she had seen the Chief Minister who had reverted and transferred the superintendent of Police and who required the other police officers who took part in the encounter to be transferred.;

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