Understanding High Court’s judgment in episode of Guru Granth Sahib’s sacrilege

After quashing probe of post Guru Granth Sahib’s sacrilege Police firing cases—Kotakapura and Behbal Kalan—Punjab and Haryana High Court has finally disclosed its judgment that also deep disappointed the Sikhs by giving clean chit to Parkash Badal and Sukhbir Badal under whose regime two Sikh protesters were shot dead by cops and many were critically injured in the firing incidents in 2015.

The 89-page judgment has drawn sharp reactions from the Sikh segments.

Former Sikh Students Federation (SSF) president and editor of Sikh Siyasat Media group Parmjit Singh Gazi says, “Which terms do you use to narrate anything or express your views and where you use which word matter a lot and express your intention. Recently, Punjab and Haryana High Court has pronounced its judgment to quash probe of Saka Kotakapura and Behbal Kalan. Look at the words “alleged” used in the first paragraph of the judgment to see where it is used and where not? I think this shows the judge’s approach”.

The judge named Rajbir Sehrawat states in this para, “At the outset, it deserves mention that three incidents of alleged sacrilege qua Guru Granth Sahib; the Holy Book of Sikhs; are stated to have taken place from June to October 2015 in district Faridkot in Punjab. Some protests were held against the alleged sacrilege. During the process of maintaining the law and order situation the police are stated to have fired upon the protestors at village Behbal Kalan under Police Station Bajakhana, District Fridkot; wherein two persons are alleged to have died, and also at Kotkapura; where some police persons were seriously injured and one protestor is alleged to have received grievous gun­shot injury on thigh and some other persons are alleged to have received minor injuries”.

“According to the judge, the sacrilege as well as being martyred by the bullets of Police by two Sikhs is ‘alleged’, while both the incidents are clear cut facts. However, when he describe about the firing by the cops, he writes clearly that ‘during the process of maintaining the law and order situation the police are stated to have fired upon the protestors’. Here, he does not use ‘alleged’ even as it is claim of the cops, not a clear cut fact, that the cops fired to maintain law and order. In real sense, ‘alleged’ should be used in this sentence”, he said.

He further said, “Apart from this, the judge does not use the term ‘alleged’ for the cops being injured in Kotakapura incident, but for the protesters being injured”, adding, “Looks like we are reading the Police report not the court judgment”.

“Punjab and Haryana High Court judge has clearly acquitted the police in Kotakapura and Behbal Kalan firing case. The whole world has seen the violent action of the Police in Kotakapura and Behbal directly from cameras. Now, we are seeing the murder of justice by Indian judiciary on day light. Sikhs first are killed here by police then judges kill them in courts. The judge has made the peacefully sitting Sikhs guilty of all the violence in the judgment. Rest he is not even sure that two Sikhs were martyred and Guru Granth Sahib je was desecrated, but he is sure that police are innocent”, said Sukhwinder Singh, leader of students’ organization ‘Sath’.

He asserted, “The world says that justice delayed is justice denied, but the Sikhs don’t get delayed justice, injustice hits their forehead directly”.

Gurbachan Singh, former editor of Des Punjab monthly magazine, said, “This is the same Punjab and Haryana High Court, which said no to Bhai Jaswant Singh Khalra from hearing the case of 25000 unidentified dead bodies. After the martyrdom of Bhai Khalra, Justice Kuldeep Singh and Justice Sagir Ahmed, being judges of the Supreme Court, conducted hearing of this case by getting 2000 such bodies indentified through CBI and ensured compensation for victim families.   The High Court has once again confirmed the words of Sant Baba Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale by defending the accused in the Behbal Kalan shooting case on the desecration of Guru Granth Sahib that Sikhs in this country have no possibility of getting justice through the courts”.

“By the way, I am not from the legal profession, but after reading the judgment of Behbal Kalan and Kotakapura case, I can definitely say that the judges take out their opinion/conclusion about any case first and then they write entire judgment to prove it right. Instead of analyzing the inquiry report, it seems that the contentions of the petitioners have been given more priority by writing in more detail”, said Kuldeep Singh Khehra, an RTI activist.

He added, “Justice is difficult. Sikh community has again come to 2015 situation”.


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