December 04, 2018 08:50 PM

Chandigarh (Subhash Jindal/JS Kaler)

In a major decision announced on Tuesday by a double bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, ex-SGPC supremo and ex-Cabinet Minister Bibi Jagir Kaur, and others were acquitted from the case of her daughter Harpreet Kaur. 

Kanwaljit with Harpreet (File)
  In 2000, after Harpreet’s death, a case was initiated by the Indian Government’s lead investigative agency, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), against Bibi Jagir Kaur and six others. Bibi Jagir Kaur, who had been elected in 1999 as the first ever female President of the Sikh mini-Parliament, SGPC, denied all charges against her. In 2012, when she was the only female cabinet minister in the Akali led Punjab Government, Bibi, Paramjit Singh Raipur (an SGPC member), Dalwinder Kaur Dhesi (mother of British MP Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi) and Nishan Singh (Bibi’s bodyguard) were acquitted of the murder charge, but were convicted for 5 years for kidnap and forced abortion, whereas the other three accused (driver, maid and assistant) were acquitted from all charges. This conviction by the Judge of the Special CBI Court in Patiala was then challenged by Bibi with an appeal in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. 

While making their judgement, the double bench stated, “All appeals filed by the convicted accused are allowed. They are acquitted of all charges. The judgement of the trial court is set aside. Appeals filed by the CBI and complainant are dismissed.” 

Bibi Jagir Kaur, a school teacher in her past, said, “After the passing away of my late husband, the death of my eldest daughter, Harpreet, was the most tragic time for me personally. However, my political opponents did not even spare me at such a sensitive time, so that I may grieve properly. These dirty games, unfortunately so common in Indian politics, may have destroyed my political career, but I’m just glad that after 18 long years, I have received justice by being acquitted from this politically motivated case. I do not have the words to thank my co-accused, who were innocent bystanders and had to endure all of this because of my political standing, but still gave such unflinching support. I also would like to thank all of my family, friends and supporters, who prayed for my wellbeing. May Waheguru bless them all”. 

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