Chadigarh, Dec 4 (IANS) In a major relief to Akali Dal leader and former SGPC President Jagir Kaur, the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Tuesday acquitted her in a case involving the mysterious death of her daughter Harpreet Kaur.
The high court set aside the order of a CBI special court which convicted Kaur and sentenced her to five years in jail and imposed a fine of Rs 5,000 on her in March 2012.
She was convicted of forcible abortion, wrongful confinement, abduction and criminal conspiracy against her daughter.
A division bench comprising Justice A.B. Chaudhari and Justice Kuldip Singh, pronounced the order on Tuesday, set aside the earlier conviction.
Kaur was President of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), the mini-parliament of Sikh religious affairs, in 1999-2000. She was the first woman to head the cash-rich Sikh organisation.
She was also a cabinet minister in the Akali Dal government headed by Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal before being forced to resign following her conviction.
She was lodged in the Kapurthala prison.
The CBI court had cleared her of the murder charge of her daughter although the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had named her for the murder conspiracy.
Jagir Kaur’s daughter Harpreet Kaur, 19, had died under mysterious circumstances on April 20, 2000 following which she was cremated hastily by the family members.
No post-mortem was conducted. The Badal government was in power at the time.
Harpreet had allegedly 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 headed a cash-rich Dera (sect).