Court Orders Himachal To Shift Top Cop, Another Senior Cop Over Extortion Complaint

The Himachal Pradesh High Court on Tuesday directed the state government to shift the state police chief and the Kangra superintendent of police so that they do not influence the investigation into a businessman’s complaint about extortion and threat to his life.

In its order, the court also said it was intervening due to “exceptional circumstances” in the matter, “more particularly when the respondent Home Secretary had chosen to turn a blind eye” to material presented in the case.

In his complaint filed on October 28, Palampur-based businessman Nishant Sharma alleged threat to him, his family and property. He had also questioned the role of the Director General of Police Sanjay Kundu, who had allegedly made calls to him, asking him to come to Shimla.

“Shift them (the DGP and the Kangra police chief) to other posts where they would not have any opportunity to influence the investigation in the case,” said a division bench of Chief Justice MS Ramachandra Rao and Justice Jyotsna Rewal Dua.

“In the light of the material available to us in this case till date, we are satisfied that exceptional circumstances do exist for intervening in the matter, more particularly when the respondent Home Secretary had chosen to turn a blind eye to the said material for reasons best known to it,” the order said.

The court observed that the Kangra SP showed very little progress in the investigation after having deliberately delayed the registration of FIR till November 16, despite having received a complaint on October 28 through an email from the complainant.

Earlier, on November 10, taking note of the businessman’s complaint, the Himachal Pradesh High Court had issued a notice to SPs of Shimla and Kangra to file a status report in the court regarding the complaint.

In his complaint, also marked to the chief Justice of the Himachal Pradesh High Court, businessman Sharma had alleged impending threat to him, his family members and property from his partners.

He cited an incident of a “brutal attack” on him in Gurugram on August 25, saying two influential persons of Himachal Pradesh, including a former IPS officer, were involved.

“I came to Palampur in Kangra district after the attack but the DGP called me up from his official number and forced me to come to Shimla and, on the same day two criminals, stopped me at Mcleodganj in Dharamshala and threatened to harm my two-and-half-year old kid and wife,” he alleged.

“I drove to the house of the Superintendent of Police, Kangra at Dharamshala and narrated the plight to her and gave her my complaint but nothing has been done so far,” he claimed.

“I demand an independent and unbiased investigation and lodging of an FIR against everyone, including the DGP. This is the only way you would be able to apprehend this whole gang of extortionists,” he had said.

Earlier, a case of defamation was registered against Nishant Sharma on the complaint of the DGP for harming his reputation and attempting to malign his image.

In his complaint, DGP Sanjay Kundu said Sharma had, on October 29, shot off a letter to the DGP on his official email, marking copies to other officials, in which he made false allegations with intentions to harm his reputation and tarnish his image.

A case under sections 211 (false charge of offence made with intent to injure), 469 (forgery for purpose of harming reputation), 499 (defamation) and 500 of the Indian Penal Code was registered against the businessman.

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