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Punjab, Haryana now have nodal officers for review of criminal cases against MPs, MLAs, HC told

The states of Punjab and Haryana submitted their affidavits before the division bench of Justices Rajan Gupta and Karamjit Singh. The bench made it clear, “In case this court finds that there is any unnecessary delay, we shall have no option but to seek an explanation from the concerned investigating officers.”

Written by Jagpreet Singh Sandhu | Chandigarh |
July 27, 2021 11:45:13 pm
Let Chief Architect identify buildings and find out whether they're sold as independent units: High Court to ChandigarhThe Punjab and Haryana HC on Tuesday directed the UT Administration to forthwith carry out an exercise to identify the residential buildings in Chandigarh, and find out whether they have been sold as independent units. (File photo)

THE STATES of Punjab and Haryana on Tuesday informed the Punjab and Haryana High Court that nodal officers had been appointed to review all pending criminal cases against MPs and MLAs of their state, both sitting and erstwhile.

The states of Punjab and Haryana submitted their affidavits before the division bench of Justices Rajan Gupta and Karamjit Singh. The bench made it clear, “In case this court finds that there is any unnecessary delay, we shall have no option but to seek an explanation from the concerned investigating officers.”

On Tuesday, Additional Advocate General for Punjab, SPS Tinna, told the court that in compliance with the order passed by the Supreme Court, an affidavit of Inspector General of Police (Litigation, Bureau of Investigation, Punjab), Arun Pal Singh, was filed giving the compilation of date regarding criminal cases registered against MPs and MLAs (sitting or erstwhile).

He further submitted that in furtherance to the direction of the court, Inspector General of Police, Crime-II, Bureau of Investigation has been nominated as nodal officer for a fortnightly review of criminal cases registered against MPS/MLAs (sitting or erstwhile) which are under investigation. A letter has also been written to field units in the state of Punjab to ensure compliance.

The HC on this submission said, “We have taken the affidavit on record and impressed upon the investigating agencies of Punjab to ensure expeditious completion of investigation in all the pending cases.”

Similarly, Ankur Mittal, Additional Advocate General for Haryana, submitted that in cases where investigations are pending are being reviewed by Inspector-General of Police, Law and Order (Administration), Sanjay Kumar, who has been appointed as the nodal officer. It is also being examined whether there has been any undue delay in probing such cases. He further assured the court that no further delay shall be brooked by the state.

Further, during the proceedings, Satya Pal Jain, Additional Solicitor General of India, submitted that an affidavit has been filed and one criminal case — lodged by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (Income Tax Department) was pending against Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh before the Chief Judicial Magistrate’s Court, Ludhiana.

Jain also submitted that a criminal case — filed by the Directorate of Enforcement — against MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira was also pending. But Khaira had filed petitions before the HC, and as per Jain, investigations are now held up in view of interim directions given in the said writ petitions. He has also pointed out another criminal case involving MLA Bhupinder Singh Hooda.

The HC on Tuesday also took on record, the report submitted by Registrar (General), Punjab and Haryana High Court, wherein the HC was asked to examine whether the Supreme Court directions in the MP/MLAs cases were being complied with.

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