Judicial custody of Sukhdev Namdhari, others extended till February 15

Judicial custody of Sukhdev Namdhari, others extended till February 15

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New Delhi:  The judicial custody of sacked Uttarakhand minority panel chief S S Namdhari and nine others, arrested for their alleged role in the murder of liquor baron Ponty Chadha and his brother, was extended on Thursday till February 15 by a Delhi court.

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Mukesh Kumar remanded Namdhari, his PSO Sachin Tyagi and eight others in eight days judicial custody after they appeared before the court in person on expiry of their judicial remand.

The court extended the judicial custody of accused Bhupender Singh, Uday Raj Singh, Rajpal Singh, Anand Singh Bisht, Mathura Singh Mehra and Satnam Singh who are Ponty's aides. It also extended the judicial custody of Namdhari's men Simranjeet Singh and Jagbir Singh.

The Crime Branch of Delhi Police had booked Namdhari for allegedly killing Ponty Chadha's younger brother Hardeep.

Tyagi, a constable with Uttarakhand Police since 2005 and deployed as Namdhari's PSO since January 2012, was also arrested for his alleged role in the crime.

Ponty and Hardeep, who had a property dispute, were killed in a shootout at their Chhattarpur farmhouse in New Delhi on November 17, 2012, after which ten persons, including Tyagi and Namdhari, were arrested in various criminal cases linked to the incident.

All the ten accused have been booked for allegedly committing offences of hatching criminal conspiracy, attempt to murder, dacoity, assault, Arms Act, destruction of evidence, trespass, illegal confinement and kidnapping.

The police, however, has booked Namdhari on the charge of murder. The police had told the court that it has been established by the probe that Namdhari had played a vital role in the conspiracy with other co-accused who acted on his orders.

The police had also told the court that during the probe, Tyagi had disclosed about his involvement in the conspiracy of trespass and that he, along with Namdhari, had shot at Hardeep as per a plan hatched earlier among him, Namdhari and Ponty.

It had said Namdhari had brought with him a number of associates armed with weapons, hockey sticks and baseball bats to facilitate forcible possession of the Chhattarpur farmhouse. Namdhari's associates help him run his various businesses in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Punjab.

In this regard, police registered two criminal cases, one of forcible dispossession of the farm house in which Hardeep was murdered and the other of murder of Ponty.

Meanwhile, the court had on January 28 ordered initiation of proceedings under section 82 of the Code of Criminal Proceedings (CrPC) to declare the eight men, wanted for their alleged roles in killing Hardeep. All belong to Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh and are absconding.

The eight, against whom the proceedings were ordered, are Hardayal Singh, Satnam Singh, Baj Singh, Balkar Singh, Pargat Singh, Kulbir Singh, Bakshish Singh and Dharmender.

Under section 82 of the CrPC, if the court has a reason to believe that the accused is absconding or is concealing himself, it orders the prosecution to publish a notice about the accused or publicly announce or affix information about them near their house or public places for making them appear in the court.

The judge had said since the NBWs issued against them could not be executed at the addresses, he was satisfied that a case has been made out to initiate the process of declaring them absconding.

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