The Punjab and Haryana High Court has directed the Punjab government to pay Rs 1 crore in compensation to five innocent people who were sentenced to rigorous life imprisonment for the murder of a person, who turned out to be alive. The High Court also directed the trial court to initiate criminal proceedings against all those responsible for framing the five people in the case. Hearing an appeal filed by the five accused in the ‘murder’ case, the division bench, headed by Justice Mehtab Singh Gill, directed the chief secretary of Punjab to deposit Rs 1 crore within 30 days of the ruling with the High Court registrar. Setting aside the conviction, the court observed, “They have suffered an irreparable loss, gone through a lot of mental agony and have been economically ruined by the functionaries of the state of Punjab.” Jagseer, a resident of Tallewal village in Barnala, was beaten by members of another family with whom he had a land dispute. After the incident in June 1996, Jagseer was told to go underground. Later, a body was found in the village and Jagseer’s parents claimed it was that of their son. The police booked five villagers – Nachhattar Singh, his son Sheera Singh, Surjit Singh, Nika Singh and Amarjit Singh – for kidnapping and murdering Jagseer. On July 18, 1998, additional sessions judge, Barnala sentenced them to life and Nachhatar moved HC. Jagseer was exposed following a property dispute in December 2008.