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Tuesday, January 25, 2022

SAD leader Bikram Singh Majithia gets interim bail in drug case

Seeking anticipatory bail before the HC, Majithia through his counsels has contended that to target him is one of the major election planks of the current government.

Written by Jagpreet Singh Sandhu | Chandigarh |
Updated: January 11, 2022 8:18:29 am
SAD leader Bikram Singh MajithiaSAD leader Bikram Singh Majithia (file)

The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Monday, while directing SAD’s Bikram Singh Majithia to appear before the investigating officer (IO) on Wednesday (January 12), granted him interim bail till the next date of hearing to the satisfaction of IO.

While hearing his anticipatory bail plea, the Bench of Justice Lisa Gill said, “The petitioner should appear before the Investigating Officer on January 12, 2022 at 11 am. He shall fully cooperate in the investigation of this case. In the event of his arrest, petitioner shall be released on interim bail till the next date of hearing to the satisfaction of Investigating/Arresting Officer”.

Among other conditions which the Majithia shall abide as per the HC order, is that he shall not leave the country till the next date of hearing; he shall provide his mobile number to the Investigating Agency, which would be available and switched on at all times; not directly or indirectly try to contact any of the witnesses or anyone connected with the case in any manner; and he shall share with the Investigating Agency, his live location through WhatsApp.

Further directing to list the matter on January 18, the Bench said that the present interim order is without prejudice to the right of the prosecution to press for custodial interrogation, if required.

Earlier the counsels for Majithia, Senior Advocates Mukul Rohatgi and RS Cheema with Nikhil Rohatgi and Arshdeep Singh Cheema had submitted that registration of the present FIR is vitiated by political and ulterior motives. The petitioner, it is asserted has no criminal record and is a mainstream politician and undertakes to join investigation, fully cooperate with the investigating agency and abide by any conditions which may be imposed by this Court.

The counsels representing Punjab Senior Advocate P Chidambaram, Advocate General DS Patwalia, and Senior DAG Gaurav Garg Dhuriwala, through affidavit filed by Balraj Singh, Assistant Inspector General of Police, Commissions, Bureau of Investigation, Punjab-cum-Chairman, Special Investigation Team, referred to FIR registered in 2013 against one Jagdish Singh Bhola. The affidavit of Punjab SIT submitted at HC also mentioned of ten writ petitions filed by the accused in eight FIR’s pertaining to the drug racket seeking transfer of investigation of the said cases to CBI as well as order dated October 7, 2015 of the Division Bench of the High Court in the said matter constituting a special team of three senior IPS Officers for reinvestigation into the matter to ensure that loopholes and gaps, whether left deliberately or otherwise are plugged.

The State also in the affidavit also referred to the order of Division Bench of the High Court regarding coordination between the Enforcement Directorate (E.D) and Special Task Force (STF) looking into the matter as well as direction to the head of the STF to examine the veracity of allegations qua the petitioner.

The State in the affidavit at HC also referred to the statements of Jagdish Singh Bhola, Maninder Singh Aulakh, Jagjit Singh Chahal and Jagminder Kaur wife of Maninder Singh Aulakh, to submit that the petitioner is well known to Satpreet Singh alias Satta, Parminder Singh alias Pindi and other persons involved in drug trafficking.

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