Stalking case: Vikas Barala’s bail plea rejected

Stalking case: Vikas Barala's bail plea rejected
Stalking case: Vikas Barala’s bail plea rejected

A Chandigarh court today rejected the bail plea of Haryana BJP chief Subhash Barala’s son Vikas Barala, who had been booked on the charges of stalking and attempting to abduct a 29-year-old woman.

The court of judicial magistrate first class (JMIC) Barjinder Pal Singh dismissed Vikas Barala’s bail application.

“The court rejected the bail plea of Vikas Barala,” said defence counsel, Rabindra Pandit.

Vikas Barala and his friend Ashish Kumar are lodged in the Burail jail in Chandigarh in connection with the case.

Pandit said that only Vikas Barala’s application was heard and his friend Kumar had not filed a bail plea before the court.

On October 13, the court had framed charges against Vikas Barala, and Kumar, in connection with the over two-month old stalking case involving the daughter of a senior IAS officer.

Vikas Barala and Kumar were charged with stalking a city-based disc jockey. The stalking incident had triggered widespread outrage and a spate of protests.

The two men were arrested on the intervening night of August 4 and 5 following the woman’s complaint but released on bail as they had been booked under bailable sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Motor Vehicles Act.

They were arrested again on August 9 after they joined the police investigation and were charged with attempted abduction under sections 365 and 511 of the IPC.

Last month, the court of Additional District and Sessions Judge Rajnish Kumar Sharma had dismissed the bail plea of Vikas Barala.

( Source – PTI )

Rajoana to hang Saturday, rules court

Babbar Khalsa terrorist Balwant Singh Rajoana, sentenced to death in the 1995 assassination of then Punjab chief minister Beant Singh, is to hang as scheduled on March 31, a Chandigarh court ruled Tuesday as opposition began building up in some places in Punjab to protest the hanging.

As per the court’s orders, Rajoana has to be hanged Saturday (March 31) at 9 a.m. in the Patiala jail premises.

The court returned the warrant of death of Rajoana to the Patiala jail authorities. The court also issued a showcause notice for contempt of court to Patiala prison jail superintendent L.S. Jakhar for returning the warrant of death earlier.

The Patiala superintendent had Monday moved a petition in the court of additional district and sessions judge Shalini Singh Nagpal here seeking deferment of Rajoana’s hanging.

In the petition, the jail superintendent had said that the matter relating to two other terrorists, Jagtar Singh Hawara and Lakhwinder Singh, who were also convicted in the Beant Singh assassination case, was pending before the Supreme Court and Rajoana could not be hanged while this was pending.

Meanwhile, the case seeking deferment of Rajoana’s hanging would be taken up in the Punjab and Haryana High Court here Wednesday, a senior law officer of the Punjab government told media persons outside the district courts here.

Sources here said that the Patiala jail superintendent, despite the contempt showcause notice from the court, Tuesday again refused to accept the warrant of death citing legal issues.

Authorities in Punjab have beefed up security arrangements across the state in view of the latest orders of the court directing that Rajoana be hanged.

Nearly 60,000 Punjab police personnel and 15 companies of para-military forces have been put on alert. The security forces have taken out flag marches in some cities and towns since Monday.

In Jalandhar and a couple of other places, people carried out protests against the move to hang Rajoana.

A former Punjab Police constable, Rajoana has refused to defend himself in the Beant Singh assassination case saying that he was involved.

While the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal, the Punjab government and the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) have come out openly to support the campaign to save him from the gallows, Rajoana has, through a letter, asked the Akali Dal to refrain from doing so.

Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal said Monday that there was a possibility of the BKI terrorist getting relief. Badal said the hanging of Rajoana could not be carried out in the present circumstances as there is a possibility of his getting relief in the assassination case.

The matter of two other terrorists, Jagtar Singh Hawara and Lakhwinder Singh, convicted in the same case, is pending before the Supreme Court. The CBI has approached the Supreme Court in Hawara’s case as his death sentence, awarded by the CBI special court in 2007, was commuted by the Punjab and Haryana High Court in 2010 to life imprisonment. The appeal of Lakhwinder Singh against his conviction is also pending.

However, the high court had upheld Rajoana’s death sentence in the case as he had refused to defend himself.

Beant Singh, Punjab chief minister between 1992 and 1995 and largely credited with wiping out terrorism from the state, was assassinated by a human bomb, Dilawar Singh, at the high security Punjab civil secretariat here Aug 31, 1995.

While Hawara was the mastermind of the assassination, Rajoana was the second human bomb to be used in case the first assassin failed. Rajoana, during the entire 11-year trial, had admitted that he alone was responsible for the killing of Beant Singh.

The family members of Beant Singh have also stated that they had forgiven Rajoana and that his death sentence be converted to life imprisonment.



Drunken driving: Chandigarh court sets a precedent

Getting drunk and then driving has resulted in a hard lesson for at least 10 motorists in Chandigarh with a traffic court not only imposing heavy fines on them but also imprisoning some of them for a day.

The court of the special judge for traffic offences here made five of the offenders stand in the court for nearly eight hours this week after it was found that they were driving on the city roads with an alcohol content of over 100 milligrams (mg) in their blood.

The judge, Deepak Raj Garg, ordered the imprisonment of the motorists indulging in drunken driving ’till the rising of the court’. As a result, the offenders were made to stand inside the courtroom for over eight hours till the court adjourned for the day.

Motorists found driving drunk were imposed penalties ranging from Rs. 1,000 to Rs. 3,500, depending on the alcohol content detected by the hydrometer (or alcohol-meter).An auto-rickshaw driver, Vinod Kumar, was fined Rs. 3,500 for drunken driving and not possessing valid documents while driving.

Under Section 185 of the Motor Vehicles Act, offenders convicted by a court can be imprisoned for up to six months and fined.

The traffic wing of Chandigarh Police, which recently initiated a sustained campaign against drunken driving in the union territory, now wants to be more aggressive with the campaign.

At least 15 prominent points, including leading clubs, hotels, pubs, discotheques, bars and restaurants have been identified by the traffic police for putting up special ‘nakas’ (barriers) to curb the menace of motorists taking to the wheels after drinking at these places.

‘We have decided to put up nakas at a distance of 100 metres from these places. We had, till now, been focussing on areas like liquor vends and taverns but now the drive will include other leading places as well,’ Deputy Superintendent of Police (Traffic) Vijay Kumar told .

The imprisonment and heavy fines levied on motorists booked for drunken driving have boosted the morale of the traffic policemen.

‘Earlier, the courts used to let off offenders with minor cash fines. But now the punishment is strict. We are also taking up with the licencing authority the matter of cancelling or suspending the licences of offenders,’ a traffic police officer said.

This year, nearly 2,000 motorists have been booked for drunken driving. The majority of them were let off after being fined as the alcohol content was lower than 100 mg.

Chandigarh, a 114-sq km city and joint capital of Punjab and Haryana, has one of the highest density of motor vehicles in the country. There are over 800,000 registered vehicles in the city, whose population is about 1.1 million. The city gets a floating population of nearly 100,000 vehicles from the adjoining cities of Panchkula and Mohali as also other motorists coming from other parts of Haryana, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh.

Chandigarh Police issues tickets worth over Rs.3 crore for all traffic offences, including drunken driving.