India Punjab Minister Bibi Jagir Kaur Gets 5-year Jail Term

Jan 7, 2005
Metro-Vancouver, B.C., Canada
31 Mar, 2012, 04.46AM IST, Viney Sharma,ET Bureau

Punjab minister Bibi Jagir Kaur gets 5-year jail term

Punjab minister Bibi Jagir Kaur was sentenced to five years imprisonment by a CBI court in Patila on Friday for her role in the mysterious death of her daughter Harpreet Kaur in 2000.

Kaur, the minister for rural water supply & sanitation and defence services, was arrested soon after the judgement was out and sent to judicial custody for 14 days along with three others convicted.

Kaur has been held guilty under various sections of the Indian Penal Code - Section 120-B (conspiracy), 313 (causing miscarriage without woman's consent), 344 (wrongful confinement for 10 days or more) and 365 (kidnapping or abducting with intent of secretly and wrongfully to confine person).

The verdict comes as a major embarrassment for the recently re-elected Akali government which made saving girl child a main issue in its election manifesto. Punjab had one of the worst sex ratios in the country (846:1000) in 2011.

Opposition Congress has hailed the conviction of Kaur, a former president of SGPC that runs all Gurdwaras in state. "Law has ultimately taken its course and the guilty stand punished," Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee President Captain Amarinder Singh said. "Her conviction has exposed the Akalis and reaffirmed faith of people in judiciary, irrespective of her powerful status."

While Kaur will approach the Punjab & Haryana High Court against the verdict, CBI will fight to get her convicted in murder charge too. If the high court upholds the verdict, it would be almost an end of road for the only woman in the Punjab Cabinet.

The CBI had registered an FIR in the case following Punjab and Haryana High Court's order, after Kamaljeet Singh of Begowal village, approached it accusing Bibi Jagir Kaur of conspiring the murder of Harpreet, his wife. Harpreet had a love affair with Kamaljeet of Begowal village, where Bibi Jagir Kaur runs a dera. The former SGPC chief was against their marriage. According to Kamaljit, he and Harpreet got married secretly and the latter was six-month pregnant when she was murdered at Phagwara.

Just last week, Kamaljit had written to Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, seeking security in view of the upcoming verdict.

Several witnesses turned hostile as the case progressed in CBI court. Even complainant Kamaljit turned hostile, only to reaffirm the charges later.

The verdict is seen to send strong message against honour killing. "It was another case of honour killing in Punjab, where the daughter and grand child were killed together. The conviction of a minister has sent a strong message to people,"Prof. Surinder shukla, a political scientist at Panjab University in Chandigarh, said.

Harsimrat Badal, Bhatinda MP and daughter-in-law of Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, had launched 'Nanhi Chhaan' project to empower women and save the girl child before the recently-held assembly polls.

"To curb dwindling sex ratio, zero tolerance will be shown on female foeticide and female infanticide. Besides bringing attitudinal change in people, the party would strictly enforce PNDT Act," reads the Shiromani Akali Dal's election manifesto.

Jan 7, 2005
Metro-Vancouver, B.C., Canada
Ex-Punjab minister Bibi Jagir Kaur gets VIP treatment in jail, officials touch her feet

IANS | Mar 31, 2012, 05.49PM IST

Hardly a few hours after her conviction and arrest on Friday evening, former Punjab cabinet minister Jagir Kaur continued to wield political influence even as a prisoner of law.

CHANDIGARH: Hardly a few hours after her conviction and arrest on Friday evening, former Punjab cabinet minister Jagir Kaur continued to wield political influence even as a prisoner of law.

Video footage emerging from Patiala and Kapurthala jails clearly shows that Jagir Kaur, who was convicted of criminal conspiracy and other charges in the mysterious death of her 19-year-old daughter, Harpreet Kaur, in April 2000 and sent to jail, was availing VIP treatment despite her conviction and arrest.

A Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) special court in Patiala on Friday sentenced Jagir Kaur to five years rigorous imprisonment on counts of forcible abortion, wrongful confinement, abduction and criminal conspiracy. She was absolved of the charges of murder of her daughter. Three others were also convicted by the court in the case.

Forced to resign as Punjab's minister for rural water supply and sanitation and defence services after her conviction and arrest, Jagir Kaur was accompanied out of the packed courtroom by police officials.

"It appeared that the police officials were escorting and guarding her from the crowd and media rather than taking her away as a convicted criminal," a lawyer in Patiala courts told IANS.

She was led into a waiting air-conditioned grey-coloured Toyota Innova luxury vehicle to be taken to the Patiala central jail.

Within hours of her being sent to the jail, her request to be transferred to the Kapurthala central jail, nearly 200 km from Patiala, was "promptly" acceded to. Jagir Kaur, who is head of a cash-rich "dera" (sect) in Begowal village, belongs to the district.

Jagir Kaur was, late on Friday night, driven under police escort, which looked more like a ministerial convoy rather than being that of a convicted criminal, in another white-coloured private air-conditioned Toyota Innova. In the car, she was accompanied by only one woman police official seated next to her.

Her Innova was allowed to be driven straight inside the Kapurthala jail complex where police officials in uniform and other jail officials in plainclothes were waiting for her arrival.

To top it all, one official in plainclothes and a uniformed officer bent to touch her feet as she alighted from the Innova car in her trademark white salwar-kameez and a cotton dupatta over her head.

Former Congress legislator Sukhpal Singh Khaira, whom Jagir Kaur had recently defeated in the assembly election from the Bholath seat in Kapurthala, on Saturday demanded sacking of the police officials who touched the feet of Jagir Kaur and sought a probe into the VIP treatment being extended to the former minister after her conviction and arrest.

"Video footage shows jail officials, in uniform and civil clothes, shamelessly touching her feet. I understand that she has been extended the facility of a special darbar inside the jail where people can meet her. All this is happening on the directions of Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal. There should be an inquiry and these officials should be sacked," Khaira said here Saturday.

Raising questions over shifting Jagir Kaur from Patiala to the Kapurthala jail, Khaira said the rules were being openly circumvented, at the behest of the Badal government, to give VIP treatment to Jagir Kaur.

He said justice could only be done if she is shifted to a jail outside Punjab and treated like any other convicted criminal.

Jagir Kaur, who is a powerful politician in Punjab and considered close to the chief minister, was inducted as a cabinet minister March 14. She was the only woman minister in the Badal government. Being a former SGPC chief twice, the lone woman to head the Sikh body, she has a sizeable hold over Sikh religious affairs.

Her daughter had died under mysterious circumstances April 20, 2000, following which she was cremated hastily by the family members. There was no post-mortem conducted. The Badal government was in power at that time as well.

Harpreet had angered her mother and other family members by secretly marrying a youth, Kamaljit Singh, who belonged to a lower caste. Kamaljit belonged to Begowal village in Kapurthala district where Jagir Kaur heads her dera.


Gyani Jarnail Singh

Sawa lakh se EK larraoan
Jul 4, 2004
SHE INHERITED THE HUGE DERA WITH LAKHs OF FOLLOWERS IN DOABA...DERA PREM SINGH MURLEEWALLAH....from her father in Law !!. so technically shes in the same status as other HOLY Baba Ramdev..SWAMIS..Namdharee GURU..Dera Beas satguru...Dhadrianwallah etc etc etc....a cow so holy.. virtually untouchable even if "GUILTY"...