Even as Punjab Cabinet Minister Bibi Jagir Kaur was acquitted from the charge of conspiring to kill her daughter Harpreet Kaur 12 years ago, she could not escape jail.
The minister was on Friday sent to Patiala Central Jail after a special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court sentenced her to five years of imprisonment in three cases relating to Harpreet’s mysterious death in April 2000.
Jagir Kaur, who had been accused of getting her daughter murdered in an apparent case of honour killing, was found guilty of forcing Harpreet to abort her baby days before she died. She was also found guilty of abduction and wrongful confinement.
She was given five-year rigorous imprisonment in one case, three years in another and one year in a third case. All sentences are to run concurrently.
Harpreet was found dead under mysterious circumstances on April 20, 2000. She was cremated in a hurry without post mortem examination. Jagir Kaur had then said that her daughter died of severe food poisoning.
Later, her son-in-law Kamaljit Singh accused Jagir of plotting the murder of Harpreet as she did not approve of their marriage. He also claimed that a pregnant Harpreet was forced to abort her baby, days before she was killed.
Harpreet had married Kamaljit secretly against the wishes of Jagir, who was then the chief of Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC), the Sikhs’ highest religious body. The allegations forced her resignation from the post.
The case against Jagir was registered after Kamaljit approached the Punjab and Haryana High Court, which consequently ordered a CBI probe. Earlier this month, Kamaljit had written a letter to Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal claiming that he and his family were being threatened by the police.