Five Facts About the Bibi Jagir Kaur Trial and Conviction

Was the Harpreet Kaur Tragedy an Honor Killing?

Mother and Child
Mother and Child. Artistic Impression © Angel Originals

5 Facts Ask Questions:

The five facts of this high profile case featuring Bibi Jagir Kaur a former Punjab official who held a high religious position and her unfortunate teenage daughter on the brink of a medical career ask more questions then they answer.

Was Harpreet Kaur's tragic death an honor killing, or an ironic unrelated incident having nothing to do with her forced abortion?

1) Bibi Jagir Kaur Political Appointments - 2000 Through 2012:

Former Punjab government official, Minister of Rural Water Supply, Sanitation, and Defense Services (SAD-BJP) and former Amritdari President of Shiromani Gurdwara Prabhandak Committee (SGPC), Jagir Kaur tenders resignation of SGPC presidency in 2000, is re-elected in 2004, but relinquishes both SGPC & SAD appointments following high profile allegations of involvement in her daughter Harpreet Kaur’s death and subsequent trial.

2) Harpreet Kaur Tragedy 1996 - March 19, and April 21, 2000:

Harpreet Kaur becomes involved with Kamaljit Singh while she attends Sant Prem Singh Khalsa High School of Begowal during the 1996 - 1997 school year. She is in co-ed class with Simarjit Singh and meets his elder brother Kamaljit Singh when she visits his family's home for study sessions. When Harpreet Kaur later moves away to Chandighar, the two keep in contact via phone, correspondence and clandestine meetings.

Jagir Kaur does not approve of the alliance. When she discovers Harpreet Kaur's pregnancy, the girl refuses an abortion. The mother dupes her daughter into going with Dalwinder Kaur Dhesi on an outing with a pretense of shopping for her wedding. Harpreet Kaur's younger sister Rajneet Kaur is sent along as a ploy. At four months pregnant in her second trimester, the unsuspecting Harpreet kaur is drugged with sedatives in Chaat, a spicy potato based snack.

On the morning of March 19, 2000, the unconscious Harpreet Kaur is taken from her home in Phagwar by vehicle with Dr Balwinder Singh Sohal, Dalwinder Kaur Dhesi and Paramjit Singh Raipur. She is moved to a clinic in Kapurthala, where she is administered an injection to terminate her pregnancy by Dr Satpal with his wife Dalbir Kaur in attendance.

On April 20, 2000, Harpreet Kaur becomes violently ill with fever, vomiting, loose stools, and suffers severe dehydration. Bibi Jagir Kaur calls family Dr Tarsem Singh. Harpreet Kaur is removed from Phagwara, dies in transit during the night, and is declared dead of natural causes upon arrival at Ludhiana's Christian Medical College and Hospital. No post mortem is held. Harpeet Kaur's body is cremated without inquiry the following day in Begowal, Kapurthala.

3) Kamaljit Singh Allegations - April 27, 2000:

Kamaljit Singh of Begowal, Kapurthala petitions Haryana High Court and Punjab High Court declaring he is the husband of the deceased Harpreet Kaur and father of her forcibly aborted child. He alleges that he and Harpreet Kaur secretly married, as her mother opposed the alliance, and offers a video and photographs of their wedding as proof.

4) High Court Investigations - June 9, 2000:

High Court directs Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to investigate. Kamaljit Singh recants partial testimony admitting the video to have been staged apparently in hopes of pressuring Jagir Kaur to relent and allow the couple to marry after Harpreet Kaur had become pregnant.

5) Charges and Convictions - Friday March 30, 2012:

Following an extended trial of 12 years duration after her 19 year old daughter Harpreet Kaur’s death, Special CBI Court brings charges and finds Jagir Kaur guilty of involvement in abduction.

Jagir Kaur receives a Rs 5,000 fine and a five year prison sentence. She and co-conspirators are immediately taken from the court to Patiala Central Jail in Punjab India. Jagir Kaur is moved to Theh Kanjla, Kapurthala Jail where she receives VIP treatment.

Charges:

  • Charged and Convicted 120 B Indian Penal Code (IPC) - Criminal conspiracy.
  • Charged and Convicted 313 IPC - Forcible abortion termination of pregnancy without consent.
  • Charged and Convicted 344 IPC - Wrongful confinement for more than 10 days.
  • Charged and Convicted 365 IPC - Kidnapping and abduction with intent to wrongfully confine.
  • Charged and Acquitted 302 IPC - Murder.

Accused Conspirators:

  • Dalwinder Kaur Dhesi - Charged and Convicted 120 B IPC, 313 IPC, 365 IPC . Rs 5,000 & Rs 2,000 & Rs 1,000 fines. Concurrent Five Years & Three Years Prison Terms.
  • Paramjit Singh Raipur - Charged and Convicted 120 B IPC, 313 IPC, 365 IPC. Rs 5,000 & Rs 2,000 & Rs 1,000 fines. Concurrent Five Years & Three Years Prison Terms.
  • Nishan Singh - Rs 5,000 fine. Charged and Convicted 120 B IPC, 365 IPC, 344 IPC. Rs 5,000 & Rs 2,000 & Rs 1,000 fines. Concurrent Five Years & Three Years Prison Terms.
  • Satya Devi - Charged and Acquitted on all counts.
  • Sanjiv Kumar - Deceased.

Sources:
The Tragic Story of Teenage Love
Bibi Jagir Kaur Gets 5-Year Jail Term

Questions To Ask Yourself

When a mother is guilty of forcible abduction and intentional termination without consent of her daughter's pregnancy, is her reprehensible misconduct an anti-gurmat action violating not only human decency, but the Sikhism code of conduct. Ought Bibi Jagir Kaur be subjected to the penalty of pesh and tankah? What is the Panthik stance in such a situation?