Singh had travelled to various cities to avoid being traced.
Maninder Singh, aged 31, who allegedly murdered an Indian nurse at a hotel in Chandigarh, could face capital punishment.
The victim’s body was discovered on January 1, 2020, and Singh was arrested on January 14 at a news channel studio. He had confessed to the murder on live television.
On April 8, 2020, Chandigarh Police charged him with Section 303 (punishment for murder by life convict) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) in the 2,000-page challan that was filed in court.
Section 303 of the IPC states that “when a murder convict sentenced to life imprisonment commits another murder, he can be punished with death”.
Singh had been out on bail after he filed a review petition against the Karnal court ruling in the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
Initially, police had booked him under Section 302 (murder). It has also been retained besides other sections of cheating and forgery.
Investigating officer Sarita Roy explained that Sarbjit Kaur was found in the hotel room on January 1 with her throat slit.
Sarbjit had worked at a hospital in Mohali at the time.
She and Singh were in a relationship and they had checked into the hotel on December 31, 2019. Singh left the premises later that evening.
Singh worked at a factory until three months before the crime. He and Sarbjit had visited the same hotel numerous times.
After allegedly murdering the Indian nurse, Singh had travelled to various cities to avoid being traced.
His car was found abandoned in Patiala two days before he appeared on the TV channel.
According to the charge sheet, the murder was premeditated. Singh had claimed it was in the heat of the moment after an argument.
Police attached video footage of Singh buying a knife from a shop in Zirakpur on December 13. They claim it was the murder weapon.
Officers have come up with two theories for the murder.
They believe that Sarbjit had gone back on her promise to marry Singh.
Another possibility is that Sarbjit had given Singh Rs. 6 Lakh (£6,300) to make arrangements for a runaway wedding, however, he had spent it on himself.
He feared that the Indian nurse would demand the money back if they separated.
On the news channel, Singh had said:
“I killed her because she was having an affair with her sister-in-law’s brother.”
Police also attached footage from the news channel office, however, they are awaiting the forensic report.
Other reports of biological evidence such as hair samples of the victim are awaited as work has been suspended due to the lockdown.
Singh had convinced Sarbjit into coming to Chandigarh by creating a fake email ID of “PGI Recruitment Cell” and writing to her on December 24 that she had been selected for a job at the All India Institute Of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Bathinda.
The email told her to go to the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) for a training session on December 26.
Believing the email to be genuine, Sarbjit’s brother and sister-in-law dropped her at the PGIMER on December 26, from where Maninder picked her up.
Police have attached the PGIMER’s response, denying that they sent such an email.
Hindustan Times reported that in total, 50 witnesses have been named in the charge sheet and around 100 statements have been attached.