January 18, 2017 3:18:42 am
Putting out her last hope to be able to contest the upcoming Assembly polls in Punjab, the Supreme Court Tuesday dismissed an appeal by former Punjab minister and ex-SGPC chief Bibi Jagir Kaur’s to stay her conviction in connection with the the 2002 murder of her daughter.
A bench of Justices Adarsh K Goel and Uday U Lalit refused to entertain the plea, saying there was no merit in it. It rejected an argument by her lawyer Shyam Divan that the stay on the conviction was imperative to let the senior SAD leader contest the February 4 Punjab Assembly poll.
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Divan maintained Kaur was not convicted under murder charges in this case but was sentenced to five years under less grievous charges of criminal conspiracy, abduction and wrongful confinement. The senior counsel said the Punjab and Haryana High Court has already stayed her sentence but a stay on the conviction was necessary to enable her contest the poll under the Representation of the People Act.
But the bench was not impressed, saying it could not stay her conviction and that the High Court order was correct.
On Monday, the High Court had turned down the plea to stay Kaur’s conviction.
In her plea, Kaur had cited the cases of Navjot Singh Sidhu and Sucha Singh Langah, whose convictions were stayed by the SC. Dismissing her argument, the HC held that legal as well as factual position in the present case was different and hence, she was not entitled to the relief.
In March 2012, the special CBI court of Patiala in Punjab had convicted her and three others in the case and sentenced them to five years’ rigorous imprisonment for abduction and causing forcible abortion of her daughter Harpreet Kaur. The court had, however, acquitted her of the murder charges.
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