Sacked Uttarakhand minority panel chief SS Namdhari's eight associates, wanted for their alleged roles in killing Hardeep Singh, brother of liquor baron Ponty Chadha, in a shootout here, could be declared proclaimed offenders by a Delhi court if they fail to appear before it on March 11.
Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Mukesh Kumar ordered initiation of proceedings under section 82 of the Code of Criminal Proceedings (CrPC) to declare the eight men, all belonging to Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh, absconding.
The eight, against whom the proceedings were ordered, are Hardayal Singh, Satnam Singh, Baj Singh, Balkar Singh, Pargat Singh, Kulbir Singh, Bakshish Singh and Dharmender.
Under section 82 of the CrPC, if the court has a reason to believe that the accused is absconding or concealing himself, it orders the prosecution to publish a notice about the accused or publicly announce or affix information about them near their house or public places for making them appear in the court.
The judge said since the NBWs issued against them for today could not be executed at the addresses, he was satisfied that a case has been made out to initiate the process of declaring them absconding.
"NBWs against all accused persons remained unexecuted. After going through the report, I am satisfied that the accused persons have absconded. Process under section 82 CrPC (proclamation for person absconding) be issued against them for March 11," the magistrate said.
Ponty and Hardeep, who had a property dispute, were killed in a shootout at their Chattarpur farmhouse in South Delhi on November 17, 2012.
Police had earlier arrested Namdhari and his personal security officer Sachin Tyagi in the case. Namdhari has been booked on the charge of murder. The two, along with eight other co-accused, are in judicial custody till January 7.
All the ten accused have been booked on charges of hatching criminal conspiracy, attempt to murder, dacoity, assault, under the Arms Act, destruction of evidence, trespass, illegal confinement and kidnapping.
The court had issued non-bailable warrants against them after Delhi Police submitted to it that they are absconding.
It had also said that Namdhari had brought with him a number of associates, including the eight persons who had assisted Ponty in smooth conduct of his businesses in UP, Uttarakhand and Punjab, with weapons, hockey sticks and baseball bats to facilitate forcible possession of a farmhouse in Chhattarpur.
In this regard, two criminal cases, one of forcible dispossession in which Hardeep was murdered and other of murder of Ponty, were registered.