September 9, 2021 8:45:21 am
A trial court in Hoshiarpur Wednesday granted anticipatory bail to Sukhbir Singh Badal in dual party constitution case filed by a social activist.
Sukhbir, who appeared before Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Rupinder Singh amid tight security, was granted bail after he furnished a personal bond and surety of Rs 1 lakh each.
The trial court will next hear the case on September 28, awaiting the original file of the case from Punjab and Haryana High Court.
Malta Boat Tragedy Mission chairman, and national vice-president of the Socialist Party, Balwant Singh Khera in 2009 had filled a complaint against the Badals and the Akali Dal for allegedly keeping two party constitutions – one that it submitted to the Gurdwara Election Commission and the other to the Elections Commission of India (ECI) to seek recognition as a political party. A criminal complaint was registered under sections 420,465,466, 467, 468, 471 and 120-B of IPC.
Khera said that his only point in this case is that SAD is not a secular party as per the Constitution of India as it has two separate constitutions, which is a forgery. SAD had registered itself as a secular party with ECI but has been participating in the religious body Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) elections, he added.
Earlier, while granting him interim anticipatory bail on September 2, Additional Sessions Judge Jatinder Pal Singh Khurmi in the order had directed Sukhbir to surrender in the trial court on or before September 13 and seek interim bail. Sukhbir had moved an application for interim bail, saying no custodial interrogation of him was required and a co-accused in the case, party leader Daljit Singh Cheema, is already on bail.
During the hearing, Sukhbir’s counsel appealed for exempting him from personal appearance on the next date but the court asked him to move an application in this regard on the same day.
From SAD’s side, three advocates appeared including D S Sobti, H S Dhami and Arshdeep Kaler, while local Akali leader Lali Bajwa stood as surety in court.
Khera, who aws present in the court, was represented by advocates BS Riar and Hitesh Puri.
Advocate Puri said: “This case is based on implacable proof and its character is unbreachable.”
Earlier on August 27, the Punjab and Haryana High court had disposed off a petition filed by SAD against the proceedings of Hoshiarpur court that had summoned Sukhbir, his father and former Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal, and SAD spokesman Daljeet Singh Cheema.
“In 1989, when an amendment was made in the Representation of People Act, 1950, a declaration under Section 29-A of the said Act, was sought from all political parties in the form of memorandum that the rules and regulations of any such party, shall bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India and to the principles of socialism, secularism and democracy and would also uphold the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India. The Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) submitted a memorandum to the Election Commission of India in 1989 in which they declared that they adopt the Constitution of Shiromani Akali Dal and also declared that they shall adhere the said provision of Section 29-A of People Representation Act, 1950, whereas no such amendment was made in the original Constitution of Akali Dal which is not secular in nature,” said Khera.
Parkash Singh Badal is now the only who has not yet applied for bail in this case. If he applies, he has to go through the same process as Sukhbir. Akali Dal spokesperson Dr Daljeet Singh Cheema is already on bail.
The tight security on Wednesday affected the functioning of the district court premises.
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