May 9, 2020 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Chandigarh: Advocate Satnam Singh Kaler may have withdrawn from the defence of former DGP Sumedh Saini but controversy triggered by his move to appear for Saini refuses to die down.
Notably, Satnam Singh Kaler is a close associate of Badal family. In exchange of his proximities with the Badals he was appointed as chairman of Sikh Gurdwara Judicial Commission in December 2016.
After registration of case against him, Sumedh Saini is on the run in an attempt to escape his arrest. He has also applied for anticipatory bail in a Mohali court.
On Friday (May 8) Advocate Satnam Singh Kaler and his son Arshdeep Singh Kaler appeared for Sumedh Saini in District and Sessions court Mohali and demanded stay on his arrest.
The court, however, refused to stay Sumedh Saini’s arrest and fixed May 9 as court date for hearing arguments on anticipatory bail plea.
Satnam Singh Kaler’s move to defend Sumedh Saini sparked a controversy and he was condemned by various Sikh circles.
An Attempt to Damage Control:
In an attempt to control the damage, Satnam Singh Kaler announced to withdraw from the defence of Sumedh Saini. He said that he was taken this case just to offer professional services but as his move has hurt Sikh sentiments, he has decided to withdraw from the case. He said that he will not defend Sumedh Saini anymore.
Statement by Advo. Satnam Singh Kaler, Chair of Gurdwara Judicial Commission. After facing wrath of Sikh netizens he announced to withdraw from defence of #SumedhSaini. Attempt to damage control by @Akali_Dal_ as #SGPC people forwarding his statement to media persons. pic.twitter.com/vPubF6QAEo
— ਪਰਮਜੀਤ ਸਿੰਘ || Parmjeet Singh (@iamparmjit) May 8, 2020
He also apologised for hurting Sikh feelings.
Not Only Defending Sumedh Saini:
Notably, Satnam Singh Kaler did not only appear for Sumedh Saini in the court. He is known for defending cops who are facing charges of fake encounters, enforces disappearances and extra-judicial murders of Sikh youth during 1980s-1990s period.
LIST of CASES in Which Satnam Singh Kaler Defended Cops Accused of ‘Crimes Against Humanity’:
Advocate Satnam Singh Kaler appeared as defence counsel for various police officers in following fake encounter cases:-
Advocate Jaspal Singh Manjhpur, who has released this list told Sikh Siyasat News (SSN) that this is a not an exhaustive list and there may be other such cases also.
He pointed that Satnam Singh Kaler had defended Bibi Jagir Kaur, a close associate of Badals, in a case related to death of her own daughter.
Crimes Against Humanity in Punjab:
As per international law organised, systematics and widespread practise of enforced-disappearances amounts to crimes against humanity.
The period of 1980s-90s in Punjab was marred by widespread and systematic wide-spread and systematic human rights abuses by Punjab police and other Indian forces. Enforced disappearances, custodial torture and death, fake encounters were common policing practice during that period. [for more details see:- Death Silence: The Legacy of Human Rights Abuses in Punjab (by Human Rights Watch); Protecting the Killers: A Policy of Impunity in Punjab, India (by Ensaaf and Human Rights Watch); Reduced to Ashes: The Insurgency and Human Rights in Punjab (by CCDP); Smoldering Embers, (by Voices for Freedom)].
Punjab police had unleashed the region of state terror against civilian Sikh population of Punjab during this.
Thousands of Sikhs, mostly youth, were eliminated by Indian forces during 1980s-90s. The black deeds of Punjab police also find mention in US diplomatic cables leaked by Wikileaks.
Why Sikhs Are Angry with Satnam Singh Kaler:
It may appear to some that Sikhs are trying to prevent a professional from carrying his profession freely but it is not so. Sikhs are angry with Satnam Singh Kaler because he holds the post of Chairman of Sikh Gurdwara Judicial Commission, a statutory post under the Sikh Gurdwara Act 1925.
The expenditure of the commission, including honorarium of its members and chairman, are paid from Gurdwara exchequer, which comprises mainly offerings of the Sikh sangat.
Sikhs are angry because a person holding heading a Sikh commission is defending those who are accused for eliminating Sikh youths in an organised and systematic manner.
Satnam Singh Kaler Should to Resign as Chair of Sikh Gurdwara Judicial Commission:
Pressure is mounting on Satnam Singh Kaler to resign as chair of Sikh Gurdwara Judicial Commission.
While pointing that Satnam Singh Kaler is defending many other cops accused of killing Sikhs in fake encounters, Advocate Jaspal Singh Manjhpur said that Satnam Singh Kaler should resign as chairman of ‘Sikh Gurdwara Judicial Commission.
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Related Topics: Balwant Singh Multani, Capt. Amarinder Singh, Congress Government in Punjab 2017-2022, Punjab Police, Satnam Singh Kaler, SGPC, Sumedh Saini, ਸ਼੍ਰੋਮਣੀ ਅਕਾਲੀ ਦਲ (ਬਾਦਲ) Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal)