SC takes cognizance of Kasauli incident

SC takes cognizance of Kasauli incident

A bench comprising Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta termed the incident as extremely serious and noted that government officials had gone there to comply with the court's direction to seal unauthorised constructions. (PTI file photo)

The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued suo motu contempt notice to a man for reportedly killing a woman officer in Himachal Pradesh's hill town Kasauli in broad daylight when she had gone to demolish the unauthorised constructions on the apex court's direction.

"This is something extremely serious...we might stop passing orders, if they start killing people," a bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta said.

The court took cognizance of newspaper reports stating that when Shail Bala Sharma, an officer with the town and country planning department, went to demolish unauthorised constructions at Narayani Guest House on Tuesday, the owner, Vijay Singh shot her dead and opened fire on another officer, leaving him seriously injured.

Amicus curiae, senior advocate P S Patwalia submitted that there have been threats galore to the officers of the Himachal Pradesh government against the compliance of the order passed by this court on April 17.

"It is quite clear that some of the appellants are acting with complete impunity and have absolutely no regard for the rule of law or the orders of this court," the bench said.

In so far as Vijay Singh, owner of the guest house was concerned, he has committed a brazen act of defiance of the order of this court amounting to a challenge, the bench said.

The court issued a contempt notice to Singh, who is since absconding and requested the CJI to assign the matter to an appropriate bench for consideration on Thursday.

The court cited a video of the incident circulated in the media and wondered what 100s of people were doing when the accused brandished the revolver and shot the officer dead.

The court was also informed that the accused had earlier threatened to commit suicide if the demolition was carried out.