Himachal High Court Dismisses DGP Kundu’s Plea On Removal From Post

Shimla: The Himachal Pradesh High Court, agreeing with contentions that the case would not require investigation by the CBI, on Tuesday dismissed the plea of Director General of Police Sanjay Kundu and Superintendent of Police, Kangra, Shalini Agnihotri for recalling the order asking the government to shift them.

A division bench, headed by Chief Justice M.S. Ramachandra Rao, asked the government to constitute a special investigation team (SIT) headed by an officer not below the rank of Inspector General within a week to probe the case in which Palampur-based businessman Nishant Sharma apprehended threat to life from his business partners.

He had also questioned the conduct of Kundu, alleging the officer made phone calls to him and asked him to come to Shimla.

The high court directed that Sharma and his family be provided adequate protection.

The Supreme Court on January 3 had stayed the high court’s order that directed the government to shift the two police officials in the wake of a complaint by the Palampur-based businessman who had apprehended a threat to life.

Listing the matter for the next hearing on February 28, the high court sought a fresh status report. On the conduct of Superintendent of Police Agnihotri, the high court observed: “There is prima facie dereliction of duty on the part of SP Kangra. She had no authority in law to have a preliminary inquiry done in respect of information about the commission of a cognizable offense contained in the complaint made to her by Nishant Sharma on October 28, 2023.

“Surely, an IPS officer having more than 10 years of service knows the legal position.”

While passing Tuesday’s order, the court once again reiterated: “We are not expressing any opinion on the merits of the claims of the parties since the investigation is still not complete.”

The Superintendent of Police in Shimla in his status report on December 15, 2023, stated that “involvement of high profile officers (of the police force) and criminal gangs to settle a dispute between partners by forcing one partner for the purpose with means of extortion, criminal design as alleged by the complainant…cannot be ruled out.”

Acting on the directive of the high court on December 26, 2023, the government posted Kundu as Secretary, Ayurveda, and gave the charge of Acting DGP to Satwant Atwal, ADGP (Vigilance and CID). However, Superintendent of Police Agnihotri continued to hold the same position till now.

Courtesy: ‘IANS’

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