June 15, 2021 5:23:16 am
Former Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal Monday asked the SIT, probing the 2015 Kotkapura police firing case, to reschedule the date of his appearance before it, saying he is not keeping good health and reiterated his “intent and commitment” to fully cooperate with the law.
In a letter to SIT chairman, the SAD patron said that his “current state of health does not permit me to be available to join the investigation on the date specified by you” as he has been been advised “complete bed rest for 10 days”.
The SIT had summoned Badal to appear before it with “relevant records” on Wednesday at a rest house in Mohali on June 16.
In his two-page response to the summons, the senior Akali leader said, “As soon as my health gets better, I will be available to join the investigation as per law, at my current place of residence (MLA flat in Chandigarh)”.
The nonagenarian leader expressed hope that “this SIT, unlike the previous one, would respect the law of the land and conduct a fair investigation, withstanding political interference from the ruling dispensation”.
“The entire process of investigations already stands brazenly compromised through blatant and unapologetic political interference and it reeks too strongly of political vendetta to inspire any confidence about a fair process of law being followed,” Badal said, adding that ins spite of all this “I have repeatedly and categorically declared my intent and commitment to cooperating fully with the law, as I have complete faith in the judiciary.”
The former CM, who also enclosed his medical certificate with the letter, said the very need for the present SIT had “arisen out of the brazen politicisation of the case by the previous SIT”.
In the response to SIT, headed by ADGP rank officer L K Yadav, Badal said that he was similarly asked to join an identical investigation by the now defunct SIT whose investigations were quashed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
The senior Akali leader also came down heavily on “one of the members of the previous SIT” for his “overtly political conduct” which had “subverted” the entire investigation process.
“With a callous and contemptuous disregard for all the established procedures and norms, this officer completely usurped and appropriated to himself the entire functioning and designated role of all other members of the SIT, including its chairman and rendered them redundant and they were reportedly not even a part of the investigative process,” Badal wrote. Referring to some reports, the former CM further said the findings of the previous SIT had been “scripted” jointly by half a dozen high profile members of the ruling party and had never been contradicted.
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