July 3, 2021 9:52:05 am
WITH JUST seven days left to file an appeal in Supreme Court, and three months having passed since the High Court quashed investigation into the Kotkapura firing and asked the state to reconstitute the Special Investigation Team (SIT), the Punjab government has finally decided to knock on the doors of the apex court.
The decision has been taken after the intervention of Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, who has directed Advocate General Atul Nanda to monitor the case closely, prepare the special leave petition (SLP), engage the lawyers and file the appeal. The CM cleared the file Thursday evening, sources said.
The HC had set aside the investigation on April 9, a setback for the state government. After the HC order, a few leaders had revolted against the CM and demanded that the state go to the SC.
Amarinder had then announced that they will move the apex court. The government had meanwhile, reconstituted the SIT.
The government, however, took little less than three months to decide on its next move as the concerned file kept oscillating between the AG and ACS, Home, Anurag Agarwal’s office. While Agarwal kept on pushing for the state to file an appeal, AG Nanda was of the opinion that the HC had quashed the SIT after having given three options to the state and the DGP had chosen to reconstitute the SIT.
The AG, it is learnt, was of the opinion that if the state police chief had himself chosen the option of reconstituting the SIT, the SLP would not stand in the SC.
The HC had given three options to the state: passing on the case to CBI for investigation, hand over the investigation to Haryana Police, hand over the investigation to a reconstituted SIT that did not have Kunwar Vijay Partap in it.
The DGP chose the third option and the HC quashed the investigations and directed the state to reconstitute the SIT. In his opinion, Nanda had opined that the AG was the advocate in the case and the DGP was the client. Challenging the HC order will also amount to challenging the portion of the judgement that was delivered after taking option from the DGP.
AG Atul Nanda said they will file the SLP before deadline as he had received the orders.
The development holds significance as the Congress is in turmoil in the state. The rebellion, witnessed recently, was sparked off after the HC order in the case.
With the SLP, the government could manage to pacify its critics, but the focus will be on why action was not take against those police officers, who were a part of the SIT, but did not sign on the investigation report.
“Let us see what happens. We are just wondering why those officers were not chargesheeted. Why were they allowed to go scot free after not signing the investigation?” asked a party leader.
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