AS MANY as 12 cases are pending against Harminder Singh Mintoo in Punjab since 2008 for allegedly conspiring to disturb peace and harmony. Officials of E Division police station in Amritsar, however, could not prosecute him in such a case for the last two years as they presumed that Mintoo was still in Pakistan. In 2016, Mintoo’s lawyers reached Amritsar court to ask police to arrest him in a case registered against him at the said police station in 2010. To their surprise, police said Mintoo was still in Pakistan and the court should accept that reply.
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An FIR, No. 21 and dated May 30, 2010, was registered against Mintoo under sections 25, 54, 59 of Arms Act, 3, 4, 5 of explosive substance Act, 17, 18, 19 for unlawful activities and 120-B, 121,122 of IPC by Punjab State Special Operation cell in Amritsar.
Mintoo was arrested from Delhi airport in November 2014 and sent to Nabha jail. He was responsive to standing trial in all cases and his lawyers had been trying to get separate bails in each one of them. Mintoo, however, was not getting the expected response from the officials of E Division PS.
In such an application, lawyers reached Amritsar court to push the E Division PS officials to arrest Mintoo. An application, dated May 19, 2016, reads, “Police authorities are not pursuing the FIR No. 108/2013. It is just necessary and proper that the SHO concerned from E Division PS may kindly be directed to provide the exact and actual status of FIR No. 108/2013 to avoid further harassment to the applicant accused who is lodged in a lock-up since last some years in various false and frivolous criminal cases.” It further reads, “At present, the accused is lodged in maximum security jail, Nabha. Applicant accused has doubt that police of PS E Division, Amritsar, knowingly and wilfully and with an ulterior motive to continue kept the accused behind bars intentionally for long period.”
The order passed by court of Ravi Inder Kaur, on July 7, 2016, reads, “Perusal of the record shows that status report has already been received from PS E Division, Amritsar, which is dated June 1, 2016.”
It further reads, “As per the status report, applicant Harminder Singh alias Mintoo, son of Bikram Singh R/o Village Dali, PS Bhogpur, now resident of Pakistan, has already been declared a proclaimed offender by the court of MS. Sushma Devi, JMIC Amritsar, vide order, dated 20/02/2014. In view of the status report, papers are ordered to be consigned to the record room.”
The application was disposed of with these words. Mintoo’s lawyers were again planning to go to court with a fresh application for bail. He, however, escaped from Nabha jail on Sunday.