LUDHIANA – A local court on Wednesday charged Lok Insaaf Party (LIP) president and MLA Simarjit Singh Bains, Congress leader Kamaljit Singh Karwal and their aides with attempt to murder charges in an eight-year-old case of assault on a tehsildar.
Additional Sessions Judge Sonia Kinra today rejected the CBI’s clean chit to MLA Simarjit Singh Bains and framed attempt to murder charges against all nine accused in Tehsilar Benipal assault case.
Bains and Karwal, then members of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), along with around 40 supporters had attacked the then local tehsildar Major Gurjinder Singh Benipal (retired) at his office on June 19, 2009. Besides assaulting him with knives, iron rods and hockey sticks and tearing his clothes, the accused had also snatched his licensed revolver before fleeing. Three days after the registration of an FIR, Bains’ name was included in it and he was also arrested.
Benipal, who is now a district revenue officer, had alleged that he was attacked for exposing the fake stamp paper scam during the then Akali regime.
Benipal’s counsel Hardial Singh said the court dismissed the accused’s application, seeking dismissal of the case registered against them, and ordered framing of the charges.
The court has framed charges against Bains and others under Sections 307 (attempt to murder), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object), 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) besides Section 27 of the Arms Act.
At the time of the incident, Bains and Karwal were close aides in the SAD, but later parted ways as Karwal joined the Congress. Bains, too, left the Akali Dal before being elected to the assembly as an independent. His Lok Insaaf Party fought the recent elections in coalition with the Aam Aadmi Party this year. Pitted against Karwal, he won the Atam Nagar seat.
Congress leader Ishwarjot Singh Cheema, meanwhile, demanded Bains’ resignation on moral grounds. He also asked AAP to clear its stand on the issue. The next date of hearing is on July 4.
Bains’s lawyer Jagmohan Singh Warraich said that they would move the High Court against the order.
The case has been adjourned to July 4 for recording the prosecution evidence.