Chandigarh, April 20
The Director General of Police (DGP) has approved the registration of a case under the NDPS Act and the Prevention of Corruption Act against two former DIGs (prisons) for allegedly disposing of drugs seized from Ferozepur prison detainees “at their own level, without any notification to higher authorities.” The action follows an investigative report by the Punjab Bureau of Investigation.
Of 241 seizures of narcotics and mobile phones from detainees, the accused officials, Lakhminder Singh Jakhar and Sukhdev Singh Saggu, reportedly reported only one incident to the police.
The case relates to the period between 2005 and 2011,while they were assigned as prison superintendents in Ferozepur.
Ferozepur City SHO Gurpreet Singh said further steps are being taken in the case after securing a new complaint from Complainant Karamjit Singh Bhullar who was previously assigned as Deputy Superintendent of Ferozepur Jail. He has been pursuing the case for several years and currently holds the position of Deputy Superintendent, Borstal Jail, Ludhiana.
The defendants defend themselves by saying they acted within the discretionary powers given to a prison warden under the prison manual to recommend the registration of an FIR or give a punishment in the prison or issue a warning .
“The quantities seized from the detainees were not large enough for criminal charges to be filed against the detainees. Prison policy is more reformative in nature than imposing case after case on inmates. It also weighs on the justice system,” Jakhar said.
He said they were not heard by the investigator and the action was discriminatory and ex parte.
“We were only called once by the investigator on February 22. We have requested a future date so that we can prepare our response by obtaining the old record of incidents that occurred over a decade ago. But we were never called again. We only hear about the DGP’s investigation and recommendation from you,” Jakhar said.
Ex-DIG Sukhdev Singh Saggu could not be reached for comment. Jakhar, however, defended Saggu saying that under the rules a public prosecutor cannot prosecute a government official three years after retirement.
He claimed that Ferozepur police have not summoned them so far.
The IG Investigation Report, Bureau of Investigation, Gautam Cheema said officials were not involved in the investigation.
- LS Jakhar and SS Saggu allegedly disposed of drugs seized in prison, authorities did not inform
- Of 241 seizures, reported only 1