Case title: Gurdev Singh Bhalla vs State of Punjab & Ors.

Case no.: SPL(Crl.) appeal no. 11654 of 2013

Decided on: 05.01.2024

Quorum: Hon’ble Justice Vikram Nath


The appellant has filed a criminal appeal with the Supreme Court of India, contesting the decision made by the High Court of Punjab and Haryana in Chandigarh on March 23, 2023, which dismissed the Criminal Revision the appellant had filed in opposition to the Special Judge’s Bathinda order of March 5, 2018, which had allowed the application under Section 319 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, summoning the appellant and three other police department officials.

Punjab Agro Food grains Corporation Ltd. of Bathinda filed a complaint against Devraj Miglani at the Phul Police Station in the District of Bathinda, which was registered as a FIR. The complaint alleged that Devraj had misappropriated paddy. The investigation of the said FIR was transferred to the Vigilance Bureau in Bathinda, where the appellant was posted as an Inspector and tasked with investigating the crime. The accused, Devraj, was arrested. He was granted police remand and then transferred to judicial custody.

And the informant in this case, Puneet Kumar Miglani, is the accused Devraj’s son. According to the informant in this case, on September 6, 2013, Head Constable Kikkar Singh approached Ms. Ritu, the accused Devraj’s niece, at her workplace, the Bathinda branch of the SBI, demanding a sum of Rs.50,000/- by handing over a slip purportedly written by the accused Devraj, indicating that the holder of the slip may be provided with the said amount. Devraj and his niece Ritu allegedly conversed on Head Constable Kikkar Singh’s mobile phone. The informant came to know of the said demand by Kikkar Singh. He went to the bank, took the slip, and after recording a conversation between his wife and his father, he presented it to the learned Magistrate, along with a complaint.

The local police were directed to register the complaint and investigate it further. Following a thorough investigation by Deputy Superintendent of Police Janak Singh, it was determined that the allegations against Head Constable Kikkar Singh were prima facie true, and a First Information Report was filed at the police station Vigilance Bureau in Bathinda. During the investigation of the aforementioned FIR, the informant, informant’s wife, Devraj, and others provided statements. Following the investigation, a police report against Head Constable Kikkar Singh only.

The date of both trials, the trial arising out of the FIR against Devraj and the trial arising out of the FIR against Head Constable Kikkar Singh, coincided on September 29, 2014. The appellant went on to depose, supporting both the prosecution’s case and his own investigation of Devraj. On that date, in the trial against Head Constable Kikkar Singh, informant Puneet Miglani provided additional evidence as PW 1. On the specified date, he completed both his chief and cross examinations. In addition, he prepared and filed an application under Section 319 Cr.P.C. to summon the appellant and three other police officials.

The trial court dismissed the application due to a lack of sanction under both the PC Act and the Cr.P.C. The said order was successfully challenged before the High Court, and the High Court, in an order dated 23.01.2018, remanded the matter to the Trial Court for a fresh order, ignoring the issue of sanction. The High Court believed that no sanction was required. The Trial Court granted the application under Section 319 Cr.P.C. and summoned the four police officials in accordance with the remand. The appellant challenged the 05.03.2018 order in the High Court.

The high court dismissed the said revision in the impugned order dated March 23, 2023. Aggrieved, and it is now being appealed to the Supreme Court.


Section 319 of the Cr.P.C. deals with “Power to proceed against other persons appearing to be guilty of offence”,

406 of IPC deals with “Punishment for criminal breach of trust”,

409 of IPC deals with “Criminal breach of trust by public, servant. or by banker, merchant or agent”,

420 of IPC deals with “Cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property”,

457 of IPC deals with “Lurking house-trespass or house-breaking by night in order to commit offence punishable with imprisonment” and

Section 13(1)(d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act read with Section 13(2) of PC Act deals with “Criminal misconduct by a public servant”.


He claimed that it was a pressure tactic on the part of the informant to browbeat the appellant because he had deposed against his father Devraj. The informant, was convicted in another case, so his statement should not have been relied on.

The complaint dated 06.09.2013 made no allegations against the appellant. The complaint was filed on September 6, 2013, for a demand of only Rs.50,000/-. Subsequently, in a statement issued on September 29, 2014, the four officials, one Deputy Superintendent of Police, the appellant, and two other Head Constables, allegedly demanded Rs.24 lakhs.


They claimed that the appellant and other police officers had not only harassed and tortured Devraj while he was in custody, but also threatened and tortured family members both mentally and physically in order to extract a large sum of money. They submitted the relevant witnesses’ statements recorded under Section 161 Cr.P.C. both during the investigation and before the Trial Court.


After considering the submissions, the court concluded that it is clear that the informant, in his statement under section 161 Cr.P.C. recorded on 22.09.2013, narrated complete facts regarding the conduct of police officials immediately following his father’s surrender on 30.08.2013 in the case registered against him for misappropriation. The informant has consistently supported the statement under section 161 Cr.P.C. from that point forward, including during the trial.

Even Devraj and Eshaa Miglani, in statements recorded during the investigation on 15.10.2013 and 22.10.2013, respectively, provided the same information as narrated by informant Puneet Miglani on 22.09.2013. Furthermore, their statements during the trial support and align with their previous statements. All of these witnesses have unequivocally described incidents that occurred at various locations, including threats, demands for large sums of money, torture of Devraj.

The Informant gave the same statement under Section 161 Cr.P.C. and before the Trial Court on May 26, 2014, which was continued on September 29, 2014. There appears to be prima facie evidence on record to establish a triable case against the appellant. As a result, we are unlikely to challenge the contested order. Therefore, the appeal is dismissed.

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Written by – Surya Venkata Sujith

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