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Friday, December 9, 2022

SIT chief being questioned on clean chit to tainted Punjab police officer

The Rs 1 crore extortion case registered by the Punjab Vigilance Bureau against Ashish Kapoor, commandant of IRB battalion, Pathankot, also accused of rape, is getting murkier by the day. Serious chinks have been pointed out in the SIT report that exonerated Kapoor, a former Vigilance Bureau AIG and recommended the cancellation of an FIR registered against him in 2019.

Startling facts are also now pouring in confirming that Ashish Kapoor, first parked large sums of his black money in the bank accounts of the complainant Poonam Rajan, 34, and the members of her family as he planned to marry her in 2017. But once his love affair with Poonam went sour, he used his influence to get an immigration fraud case registered against Poonam and the members of her family to get his money back, reveals an officer once very close to the AIG.

The Police Complaints Authority, Punjab, headed by Satish Chandra, IAS (retd), has summoned the SIT Chief Sharad Satya Chauhan, ADGP, to explain why the specific allegation of extortion of Rs 1 crore levelled by Poonam was not addressed in the report. He has been asked to appear before the Authority on October 14.

Sources disclosed that the Kapoor-Poonam matter was raised before DGP Gaurav Yadav in his office today by some senior IPS officers. They had taken offense at VB’s DSP Barjinder Singh Gill who brushed aside the SIT report based on the findings of two ADGPs and went ahead to register an FIR against Kapoor. “Let the law take its own course,” said the DGP and added that the courts were there to see if something legally wrong had been done by anybody.

SIT Chief ADGP Chauhan did not respond to telephone calls and WhatsApp messages for the last two days after his report came under the cloud.

A perusal of SIT report dealing with Poonam’s allegations emanating from FIR number 3 dated May 1, 2019, and FIR number 151 dated May 5, 2018, shows that a total of 7 issues were addressed.

While dismissing all the allegations, including one of custodial rape by Ashish Kapoor, the then Superintendent of Amritsar Jail, SIT, however, did not touch the grave issue of extortion. The handwritten statement of Poonam dated June 8, 2019, given to Kunwar Vijay Partap IG (available with this reporter), clearly mentioned extortion and her physical torture at the Zirakpur police station.

She also alleged in the High Court that Kapoor – accompanied by Inspector (now DSP) Samarpal Singh and the then SHO Pawan Kumar and ASI Harjinder Singh – raided her residence in Kurukshetra and several others of her relatives in Punjab and Haryana to “loot money” when she, her mother and brother were in the custody of Zirakpur police.

As the controversy over love-gone-sour-saga rages, Indianarrative.com scrambled through files pertaining to Poonam’s divorce case in a Gurgaon court, two of her petitions in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the order of her conviction (along with Prem Lata and Kuldip Singh) passed by a Dera Bassi court and the 4 FIRs. These FIRs covered a period from 2011 to 2018 and were registered mainly on charges of immigration fraud and criminal conspiracy. The places of registration of these FIRs were the police stations of Thanesar Sadar, Kurukshetra, the Civil Lines, Karnal, the Civil Lines, Amritsar, and the police station of Zirakpur, Mohali.

A detailed study of these court documents shows that Poonam has been flip-flopping in her statements before various courts. In one court defending Kapoor, she denies an extra-marital relationship with him while in another she alleges that he had been raping her from 2016 to 2018. In yet another court, she accepts that she “consented” to a physical relationship with Kapoor.

Intriguingly, on May 11, 2018, in Gurgaon’s family court of Sudhir Parmar, Poonam opposed an application moved by Komal Kapoor wife of Ashish Kapoor that sought impleading of the AIG as a party in the case on the ground that Poonam was his de-facto wife. “I do not have any adulterous relationship with Ashish Kapoor,” Poonam said on the court record.

Again on May 28, 2018, she, through her counsel in the Gurgaon family court of Sangeeta Rai Sahdev denied that she had any extra-marital relationship with Kapoor. During custody in Amritsar jail for 23 months from May 7, 2015, to March 3, 2017, Kapoor “helped me on humanitarian grounds within the framework of official duty,” she stated.

Surprisingly, on August 8, 2018, seeking strict action against Ashish Kapoor, Poonam told the Punjab and Haryana High Court that she and Ashish were in a love relationship and had been married for over two years. But, under pressure from his wife Komal Kapoor the AIG got a false FIR registered against her and the members of her family in Zirakpur.

In one other place, while going into the background of her story she told the High Court that “…. she consented to have a physical relationship with Ashish Kapoor as he had proposed to marry me.”

Further, in the same petition before the High Court, she alleges that Ashish Kapoor and his comrades during the raids on her residence in Kurukshetra took away Rs 2 crore in cash, besides 450 grams of gold from the bank lockers. Another Rs 1 crore was taken through three cheques issued by her mother, Prem Lata.

Gaurav Dutta, Judicial Magistrate 1st class, Dera Bassi while convicting Poonam and 2 members of her family on August 2, 2019, recorded that the accused had indeed cheated the complainants by falsely promising to get them US visas. During the raids, the police found 3 passports and 3 fake visas of some aspiring immigrants lying at the Kurukshetra residence of the accused. It showed that the accused were veterans in the fake visa field. Money transaction of Rs 30 lakh stood proved.

(The story has been published via a syndicated feed.)

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