CTU employee’s murder: Forest Hill Resort owner, three others to face trial in Kharar court from September 20

CTU staffer, Abhishek Guleria, 28, went missing on March 13 and his body was recovered after about two weeks by the police from Pinjore.

Updated: Sep 12, 2018 10:22:04

By Shailee Dogra

(HT File )

In the case involving the death of a Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) employee, whose body was recovered on March 25 from Pinjore, the trial will begin on September 20.

Chairperson of Worldwide Immigration Consultancy Services (WWICS) and owner of Forest Hill Resort, Lt Col BS Sandhu (retd) and three of his employees will face trial for death due to negligence, destruction of evidence and criminal conspiracy.

CTU staffer, Abhishek Guleria, 28, went missing on March 13 and his body was recovered after about two weeks by the police from Pinjore.

On September 5, Kharar judicial magistrate, Jublee, had framed charges against Lt Col Sandhu and three employees of Forest Hill Resort — liasoning officer Gurvinder Bains, his assistant Tarsem Singh and security in-charge Balwinder Singh — under sections 304-A (causing death by negligence), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence, or giving false information to screen offender) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC. If convicted, the accused will face imprisonment up to three years.

During the investigations by the SIT, an audio recording was found on the phone of Gurvinder Bains, in which Sandhu allegedly can be heard instructing to dispose of the body.

As per the probe, about 4-5 calls were exchanged between Sandhu and Bains on March 22, in which he (Sandhu) allegedly instructed them to dispose of the body to avoid a controversy.

As per the prosecution, Guleria’s body was in the water tank of the resort, before it was disposed of in Pinjore. Police arrested the three staff members of the resort on March 26 for allegedly ‘killing’ and disposing of Guleria’s body.

During interrogation, the accused had told the police that they found Guleria’s body in the tank of the resort’s sewage treatment plant and informed Sandhu about it. The trio had alleged that it was on Sandhu’s behest that they dumped the body.

“Charges were framed against all four accused, including Lt Col Sandhu on September 5 and the case is now listed for September 20 when the trial is likely to commence,” said Inspector Bagwant Singh, SHO, Nayagaon.

The police have listed 16 witnesses, including Rahul Guleria, brother of the victim, who had lodged a missing complaint of his brother.

Initially, a murder case was registered, but the section was dropped by the police on basis of the post-mortem report that had cited asphyxia as the cause of death.

What is police relying on

An audio recording on Bains’ phone is the key evidence, in which Sandhu allegedly can be heard instructing his employees to dispose of the body. “Plan ke hissab se karo (do as per the plan),” were the instructions allegedly passed on to Bains over the phone after the body was found in the tank.

Police have again moved an application before the court, seeking permission to take voice samples of LT Col Sandhu and Bains so that they can be matched with the voice in the audio recording.

The case so far

March 13: Victim Abhishek Guleria goes missing after leaving a relative’s house in Nayagaon

March 25: Haryana Police recover his body from Pinjore

March 26: Mohali police arrest three employees of Forest Hill Resort for murder. They claim body was disposed of at Lt Col Sandhu’s behest

March 27: Police summon Lt Col Sandhu to join investigations

March 29: Three-member special investigating team constituted

March 31: Non-bailable arrest warrants issued against Lt Col Sandhu

April 5: Lt Col Sandhu moves plea in Mohali court, seeking anticipatory bail

April 12: HC refuses to entertain bail plea, calling it premature

April 18: Lower court dismisses plea too

May 16: Lt Col Sandhu joins investigations; murder charges dropped

August 31: Challan filed by the police before Kharar court

September 5: Charges framed

First Published: Sep 12, 2018 10:17:31


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