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‘Rape’ case: HC rejects ex-MLA Simarjeet Singh Bains plea to quash order declaring him ‘proclaimed offender’

The PO declaration order was issued by an illaqa magistrate of Ludhiana on April 12, while the alleged rape case was registered in July 2021 at Ludhiana.

Simarjeet Singh Bains who is the Lok Insaf Party (LIP) chief and former MLA continues to be at large in the alleged rape case of a 44-year-old woman. (File)

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has dismissed the plea of former Punjab MLA and Lok Insaaf Party chief, Simarjeet Singh Bains, and others seeking to quash order of PO (proclaimed offender) against him in an alleged rape case. The bench of Justice Lisa Gill has also dismissed the anticipatory bail plea of Bains.

The PO declaration order was issued by an illaqa magistrate of Ludhiana on April 12, while the alleged rape case was registered in July 2021 at Ludhiana.

Meanwhile, on a note of the Punjab police in the chargesheet filed against Bains, Justice Gill said that it was pertinent to note an extremely surprising note in the challan that read, “Accused Simarjit Singh Bains is presently MLA from Atam Nagar constituency… who cannot abscond anywhere and rest of the accused persons are also active members of his party, their arrest can disturb the situation keeping in view the rage of his supporters… and law and order can be disturbed. Therefore, accused in the present case… may be summoned in the court.”

On the note, the HC said, “It is a matter of surprise that the police authorities felt powerless and ineffective in front of the ‘rage’ of the supporters of accused No.1 and so fearful of the law and order situation which they perceived would be created in the wake of said petitioner’s arrest, that the challan was presented with a request to summon the accused in the court. In the given factual matrix, in my considered opinion, accused-petitioners are not at liberty to take any benefit of the shortcomings on the part of the investigating agency/police. Aforesaid is indeed a reflection of the clout which the said accused-petitioner was able to wield on the police authorities which is further reflected from the fact that even the non-bailable warrants directed to be served through Commissioner of Police remained unexecuted.”

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Justice Gill held, “In the given facts and circumstances, accused-petitioners do not deserve any indulgence from the court as it is apparent that they seem to entertain a notion that law is to be flouted at their whims and fancies and is subservient to their cause. It would be a travesty of justice to accept the argument on behalf of accused No.1 (Simarjeet Singh Bains) that he was in the process of availing his remedies, therefore, he cannot be termed an absconder or that by filing the petition under Section 482 of the CrPC challenging acceptance of the incomplete challan/order dated December 10, 2021, or by filing the application under Section 70 (2) of the CrPC, the accused-petitioner had in fact submitted to the jurisdiction of the court.”

Dismissing the bunch of petitions filed by the accused in the case, the bench, however, directed that in case the petitioners appear before the magistrate/trial court within one week of receipt of certified copy of the order, their applications for bail pending trial, if any, be decided expeditiously within one week thereof.

First published on: 10-06-2022 at 12:00 IST
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