Gikki murder: HC judge recuses from hearing plea to transfer case trial

Justice T P S Mann of the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Wednesday recused from hearing a petition filed by Ram Simran Singh Makkar — the prime accused in the murder of Gurkirat Singh Sekhon alias Gikki — a hotelier who was killed on April 21.

Makkar had requested the high court to transfer the trial out of Punjab. Meanwhile, Jalandhar Joint Commissioner of Police on Wednesday filed a reply opposing Makkar's petition.

The court had issued notices and also stayed the proceedings of the trial which was to be held on September 5. Now, the petition will come up for resumed hearing before an appropriate bench.

The accused had contended that that fair and independent trial cannot be expected in Punjab since a very strong hate campaign has been launched against him (Makkar). Alleging that the complainant, Rajbir Singh, is playing an active role in the hate campaign, senior advocate R S Cheema had contended on behalf of Makkar that the accused apprehends that he may be eliminated by the complainant party.

Denying allegations and apprehensions raised by Makkar, the Joint Commissioner of Police (Jalandhar) submitted that the contentions are misplaced. Stating that the investigating agency conducted the probe without any media pressure and with impartiality, the Joint Commissioner has submitted that Makkar and Gurkirat were together on April 21. It has also been submitted that the licence of the weapon owned by Makkar had expired in 2010.

Makkar, in his petition, had alleged that his father was murdered by a terrorist, Satinder Singh alias Mintoo, who continues to be a proclaimed offender. He had also alleged that certain political parties were instigating people against the accused. Apprehending a threat to his security and holding the media responsible for holding a trial, Makkar has sought directions for the transfer of the trial.

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