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Sippy Sidhu murder case: Two-judge SC bench recuses itself from hearing plea of accused

A vacation bench of Justices Dipankar Datta and Satish Chandra Sharma said they were not inclined to hear the matter as it involved the daughter of a former judge.
Last Updated : 21 May 2024, 15:26 IST
Last Updated : 21 May 2024, 15:26 IST

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New Delhi: A two-judge bench of the Supreme Court on Tuesday recused itself from hearing a plea of an accused, daughter of a former high court judge, in connection with the killing of national-level shooter Sukhmanpreet Singh alias Sippy Sidhu in Chandigarh in 2015.

A vacation bench of Justices Dipankar Datta and Satish Chandra Sharma said they were not inclined to hear the matter as it involved the daughter of a former judge.

"List the matter before a bench in which both of us are not members," they said, adding that the matter be listed next week before another vacation bench.

Senior advocate Siddharth Dave, appearing for petitioner Kalyani Singh, said they have approached the top court challenging the April 25 order of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, which rejected her plea for supply of statements of witnesses recorded by Chandigarh police.

Initially, he said, the case was investigated by Chandigarh police but was later transferred to the CBI, which filed the charge sheet and charges have now been framed.

"We want statements of witnesses, which were recorded by the Chandigarh police initially, so that we can cross-examine them during the trial," he submitted, adding that the high court nonsuited the petitioner saying these are not relied upon documents by the prosecution in the case.

Nonsuiting involves stopping a lawsuit or the plaintiff bringing it, either by voluntary withdrawal by the plaintiff, or by a finding by the judge that the plaintiff has failed to make a legal case or bring to court sufficient evidence.

Earlier this month, charges were framed against Singh, who is out on bail since September 2022, for alleged offences under sections 302 (murder), 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and 201 (destruction of evidence) of the IPC.

On June 15, 2022, the CBI arrested Singh after it claimed to have recovered 'documentary material' indicating that her affair with Sidhu had turned sour.

Sidhu, grandson of a former judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court and son of a noted lawyer, was shot dead on September 20, 2015 and his bullet-riddled body was found in Chandigarh's Sector 27 the next morning. The central agency registered an FIR in connection with the killing of Sidhu, also a lawyer, on April 13, 2016 at the request of the Chandigarh administration.

The CBI had filed an 'untraced report' in 2020 mentioning that it did not have enough evidence to charge-sheet Singh but sought permission to continue the investigation because of 'strong suspicion' about her involvement in the murder.

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Published 21 May 2024, 15:26 IST

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