New Delhi: A Delhi court on Monday sentenced six Uttar Pradesh police personnel, including a Superintendent of Police, to two years of imprisonment each for illegally
confining the relatives of a man who had married a girl against the wishes of her family in 1994.
Additional Sessions Judge Poonam Chaudhary also imposed a fine of Rs 15,000 each on convict Satpal Singh, the then SHO, Sukhpal Singh and Satbir Singh, both constables, and Rs 6,000 on AK Singh, the SP.
It imposed a fine of Rs 9,000 each on two women police constables Duija Yadav and Promila J Masih who were convicted for their role in preparing fake arrest memo in order to produce false evidence in the matter.
All the six police personnel were held guilty under various sections of the IPC including 193 (punishment for false evidence), 195 (fabricating false evidence with intent
to procure conviction) and 348 (wrongful confinement to extort confession) on May 24.
During the argument on the quantum of sentence, CBI prosecutor Anil Tanwar had sought severe punishment against the convicts as they were police officers and acted in
violation of law by preparing false recovery memos and illegally detaining the victims.
The convicts` counsels on the other hand opposed CBI`s plea claiming that the policemen`s action was bonafide as an FIR was registered in the matter.
They appealed to the court to take a lenient view on the ground that the accused were public servants.
The convicted police officers had on August 13, 1994 picked up businessman Raj Pal Dhall and three of his relatives including a woman from their home and allegedly
tortured them to extort "confessions".
The police action had come after a case was lodged with Kavi Nagar police station against Dhall`s son Atul Dhall who had eloped with Geeta, a neighbourhood girl, from Ghaziabad and married her at a temple in Delhi on August 12, 1994.
The case was transferred to CBI on an order of the Supreme Court on November seven, 1994. The trial against the accused police officers and the girl Geeta and her father Khem
Raj Ahuja initially took place at Dehradun and later transferred to Delhi.
"Prosecution has succeeded in proving that on August 13, 1994, the accused entered into criminal conspiracy to fabricate false evidence against complainant Dhall and his family members with intention to use against them in a case registered by Ahuja," the ASJ had said in a 86-page judgement convicting the police personnel.
During the arguments, Special Public Prosecutor had alleged that the police officers prepared a fake arrest memo of the girl and the boy even though the couple had surrendered at Kavi Nagar police station on the next day of their marriage after coming to know that Dhall`s family members have been picked up by them.
He also charged the family members with torturing Dhall`s family members.
80-year-old Dhall, who had to leave his factory and business at Ghaziabad after registration of the case, expressed satisfaction over the court`s judgement.
"We will approach higher courts to seek compensation for the mental trauma we have undergone," Dhall told reporters outside the courtroom.
Earlier, in its judgement, the court had acquitted Geeta of all charges finding no evidence against her. Geeta`s father, also an accused, had died during the trial.