The Supreme Court on Friday set aside the order of Punjab and Haryana High Court dismissing the plea filed by slain gangster Jaipal Singh Bhullar's father seeking directions to Punjab government to conduct a second autopsy of his son's body. The high court, which had declined the plea on the ground of territorial jurisdiction, was asked by the apex court to consider the plea again on June 21.
A vacation bench of Justices Indira Banerjee and M R Shah also directed the Punjab government to make appropriate arrangement to preserve the body, which has been taken to Firozpur in Punjab from Kolkata. “The impugned order is set aside. The High Court is requested to hear the matter on Monday (June 21). The Punjab government shall make necessary arrangement for storage of dead body,” the bench said.
Bhullar and another gangster Jaspreet Singh, involved in killing two policemen recently in Ludhiana, were gunned down by a Kolkata police team in a shootout in the city on June 9 after receiving "pin-pointed" information from their Punjab counterparts.
The high court had dismissed the plea of slain gangster's father, saying the matter is not under its jurisdiction as the encounter took place in Kolkata.
During the hearing in the apex court, advocate Ishma Randhawa, appearing for Bhullar's father Bhupinder Singh alleged that it is a fake encounter and the deceased was killed by custodial torture. She contended that Singh has seen the body of Bhullar which has gone blue and bones were broken. Randhawa said that his father had gone to Kolkata on his own and brought back the body to Firozpur in Punjab.
“I am not seeking a CBI probe into the encounter but all I want is second autopsy to ascertain the fact whether he was killed in custodial torture or not. I have the right to know under Article 21 of the constitution to know how my son was killed,” she said.
On Thursday, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had dismissed a petition filed by Bhullar's father seeking directions to the state of Punjab to conduct a second autopsy of his son's body either at PGIMER here or AIIMS, New Delhi.
The court had also dismissed another plea for preserving Bhullar's body at the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER).
Bhullar's family hasn't yet conducted his last rites. Bhullar's father Bhupinder Singh, in his petition had sought directions to the state of Punjab to conduct a second post-mortem of his son's body either at the PGIMER, the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, or some independent medical institute to ascertain the nature of injuries.
Bhupinder Singh, a retired Punjab police inspector, has alleged that his son was tortured before being gunned down. Earlier on Monday, the Ferozepur deputy commissioner had rejected the request of Bhullar's family for a second post-mortem.