New Delhi, Oct 31: The findings of a 900-page report of the then IG Kunwar Vijay Partap solely dealing with the AIG Ashish Kapoor and Poonam Rajan Singh rape and extortion charges have been ignored in the 103-page investigation report submitted by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by ADGP Sharad Satya Chauhan giving a clean chit to Kapoor.
IG Kunwar Vijay Partap had finalised his report on February 17, 2021, and then passed it on to the SIT.
Sources close to the Police Complaints Authority indicate that a re-investigation is likely to be ordered in the entire matter after considering and comparing the reports of IG Kunwar Partap and ADGP Sharad Satya Chauhan.
The Chauhan-led SIT seems to have, knowingly or unknowingly, dismissed the arguments forwarded by Kunwar Partap upholding Poonam’s charges. She had alleged rape in custody at Amritsar jail and extortion of over Rs 1 crore in Zirakpur police station by AIG Kapoor, who is now in judicial custody. The Vigilance Bureau headed by ADGP Varinder Kumar registered a fresh FIR early this month against Kapoor pertaining to extortion, while leaving out the rape charge as it did not fall in its purview.
According to senior advocates, the laws 376, 376 (C), and 376 (D) of the IPC make the legal position in a rape case very clear. If a woman levels an allegation of rape by a person in a position of authority, these sections of the rape law provide a presumption of truth in favour of the victim. No other evidence is required. The onus to prove his innocence lies with the accused and in the present case, it lies with AIG Kapoor.
Further, the law says if a police officer refuses to register an FIR after an allegation of rape is made, he is liable to be prosecuted under 166 (A) of the IPC which entails 2-year imprisonment. No prosecution sanction is needed from the government to proceed against such a police officer.
A senior lawyer explains that SIT that dismissed the rape charge of Poonam against Kapoor and recommended cancellation of the FIR has committed an offense and is liable to face action under 166 (A) of the IPC.
Kunwar Partap, in his report has extensively quoted rape law along with amendments that came into effect in 2013 after Delhi’s Nirbhaya gang rape case. But ADGP Chauhan, has termed the rape allegation as an afterthought and as being without any proof, which senior officers say is against the existing rape laws in the country.
In the allegation of extortion, Kunwar Partap’s report gives clear details and names of 10 bank account holders to which extorted money was transferred at the behest of Kapoor. Three of these temporary beneficiaries included a jeweller, a computer hardware shop owner, and a saloon owner operating near the Zirakpur police station. The money transfer by cheques and retrieval in cash operation was handled by the then SHO Pawan Kumar, who is now absconding.
Kunwar Partap’s report has also dealt with a triple-story bungalow in Gurgaon priced at a Rs 3.5 crore which was handed over to Poonam. The two, in good times of their relationship, had proposed to marry and live happily together thereafter. But later, when relations soared as Kapoor backed out from divorcing his wife, Poonam was forcibly dragged out and evicted from the bungalow. The SIT did not touch this issue in its report.
The SIT overlooked the allegation of extortion of Rs 1 crore and did not even touch the issue in its report. And it is on this very lapse the Police Complaints Authority headed by Satish Chandra recently summoned SIT members for an explanation. After talking to all the parties concerned, Satish Chandra is expected to give his findings soon.
It appears strange that ADGP Chauhan and ADGP Vibhu Raj, both IPS officers, ignored IG Kunwar Pratap’s report. Their botched investigation appears to have been aimed to help AIG Kapoor. The accused AIG enjoyed a powerful position those days, being hand-in-glove with the then unofficial master regulator of the Vigilance Department, Bharat Inder Singh Chahal, an Advisor of the then Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh. The then Director VB B.K.Uppal too was a confidant of Chahal.
Based on the statements of various people, IG Kunwar Partap also upheld the allegation of thrashing of Poonam in the Zirakpur police station. Electric shocks were also given to her by Kapoor and Samarpal Singh. But SIT found no evidence to that effect and gave Kapoor and Samarpal a clean chit. SIT maintains that Poonam could not produce any video that was recorded allegedly by Samarpal Singh, now DSP, cybercrime, a buddy of the accused AIG.
According to highly placed sources, the video showing Kapoor thrashing Poonam is now in possession of the VB. This video, not only helped to crack the case but made the co-accused, DSP Samarpal Singh and ASI Harjinder Singh accept their role in the crime, thereby proving Poonam’s allegation.
Indianarrative.com has learnt that one more woman was also present in the office of the SHO Pawan Kumar, along with Kapoor, when Poonam was being thrashed. This mystery woman reportedly made a video of the entire incident with the help of Samarpal.
The latest development about the controversy is that two co-accused including, Samarpal Singh have recorded their confessional statements under section 164 of the CrPC in the court of Sonali Singh, Judicial Magistrate, Mohali, apparently lending some support to the VB case.(The content is being carried under an arrangement with indianarrative.com)