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Thursday, October 22, 2020

Balwant Multani murder case: Punjab Ex-DGP Sumedh Saini appears before court, says ready to join probe

The court issued a notice to the Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Punjab Police, seeking its reply, and fixed September 30 as the next date of hearing.

By: Express News Service | Mohali | September 25, 2020 10:02:19 pm
Sumedh Singh Saini, Multani Abduction CaseEarlier in the day, Saini reached Matour police station at around 9.30 am to appear before the SIT.

Former Punjab Director General of Police (DGP) Sumedh Singh Saini Friday appeared before a Mohali court, seeking withdrawal of arrest warrants against him and said he is ready to join investigation in the 29-year-old Balwant Singh Multani disappearance case.

The court issued a notice to the Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Punjab Police, seeking its reply, and fixed September 30 as the next date of hearing.

Earlier in the day, Saini reached Matour police station at around 9.30 am to appear before the SIT. The SIT members, however, were not present at the police station following which Saini reached the district court with his lawyer and filed the application.

Saini filed application through his counsel APS Deol and HS Dhanoa in the court of Judicial Magistrate (First Class) Rasveen Kaur.

In his application, Saini said that the Supreme Court has granted him an interim protection from arrest in the case and thus the non-bailable warrant issued against him by a local court be withdrawn.

The former state police chief said he was “ready and willing” to appear before the investigating agency and cooperate as and when required.

Saini filed the application two days after he failed to appear before the SIT for questioning at the Mataur police station. Issuing the arrest warrant against him on September 12, the court of Judicial Magistrate (First Class) Ravtesh Inderjit Singh had directed police to produce Saini by September 25.

after hearing the application, the court of Judicial Magistrate (First Class) Rasveen Kaur issued the notice to the Punjab Police for September 30.

Meanwhile, the investigating agency had submitted the warrant report in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) Deepika Singh.

In its report the district police informed the court that the Supreme Court had ordered on September 15 that the accused shall not be arrested in connection with the present FIR, subject to cooperating with the investigation. Accordingly, earlier non-bailable warrants issued against the accused are ordered to be recalled.

“Since the investigating agency has not filed any further application for proceeding against the accused, let the papers be filed with the FIR and be sent to ilaqa magistrate,” the court observed.

The former DGP was booked in May in connection with the disappearance of Multani, a junior engineer with Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Corporation. Police had last month added the murder charge under Section 302 of the IPC in the case after former Chandigarh Police Inspector Jagir Singh and ex-ASI Kuldeep Singh, who are also co-accused, turned approvers.

A 1982-batch IPS officer, Saini was the youngest DGP in the country when he was appointed the Punjab Police chief in 2012. He was removed from the post in 2015 after protests erupted following desecration of religious texts. Saini retired in 2018.

Multani, a resident of Mohali, was picked by police after a terrorist attack on Saini, who was the then the senior superintendent of police in Chandigarh. Later, it was claimed that Multani, son of a former IAS officer, had escaped from the custody of the Qadian police in Gurdaspur.

Saini and six others were booked on the complaint of Balwant Multani’s brother Palwinder Singh Multani, a resident of Jalandhar. Initially, the case was registered against them under Sections 120 (B) (criminal conspiracy), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence), 330 (voluntarily causes hurt), 344 (wrongful confinement) and 364 (kidnapping or abducting in order to murder) of the IPC.

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