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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

STF chief had no locus standi to conduct probe against me: Bikram Singh Majithia

Harpreet Sidhu refuted the allegations. He told The Indian Express that “The property dispute was between my cousins and my mother and maternal aunts. The cousins had filed a case against them and lost it outright. Neither I nor BS (read Bikram Singh) Majithia have anything to do with it and are not parties to the case or have any interest in the property.”

Written by Navjeevan Gopal | Chandigarh |
Updated: January 13, 2022 7:54:08 am
Bikram Singh Majithia, PM's security breach, Narendra Modi, Modi, Congress, Akali dal, Chandigarh news, Chandigarh, Indian express, Indian express news, Punjab newsSAD leader Bikram Singh Majithia (file)

The Punjab drugs case on Wednesday took a new twist with Akali leader Bikram Singh Majithia telling the Special Investigation Team (SIT) that Punjab’s anti-drug Special Task Force (STF) chief Harpreet Singh Sidhu had no locus standi to conduct any probe against him as he was his “relative; was involved in a relatives’ property dispute; and that guard of Sidhu’s father who was a brigadier in the Army had fired at his grandfather.”

Harpreet Sidhu refuted the allegations. He told The Indian Express that “The property dispute was between my cousins and my mother and maternal aunts. The cousins had filed a case against them and lost it outright. Neither I nor BS (read Bikram Singh) Majithia have anything to do with it and are not parties to the case or have any interest in the property.”

When contacted, in text messages to The Indian Express, Sidhu stated, “My cousins and my mother/maternal aunts have cordial relations for many years.”

On allegations that there was firing on Majithia’s grandfather, Sidhu said, “His (Majithia’s) grandfather visited my father in Assam and when they were traveling, a security naka of the army fired on them in a case of mistaken identity. My father was injured and admitted to army hospital where he recovered. It is amazing that he (Majithia) thinks that the incident [which] probably [occurred] in 1991 or so has any connection with the allegation of smuggling of drugs against him.” Sidhu said when the firing incident happened, “They were travelling in an Assam Rifles vehicle”.

Based on Enforcement Directorate findings after he was entrusted by the Punjab and Haryana Court to submit a report and broadly on the bases of which FIR was registered against Majithia , Sidhu had stated, “..For the purpose of record it is stated that I have cousin brothers named Arjun Singh Majithia & Gobind Singh Majithia sons of late Jasjit Kaur (my maternal aunt) who are further ahead related to Bikram Singh Majithia. Late Jasjit Kaur passed away in the year 1987 and to the best of my knowledge, I have had no contact with her family atleast for the last about 14 years.”

Majithia’s lawyer D S Sobti told The Indian Express that there was a property dispute where Majithia;s family had been “supporting” those who were locked in property dispute with Sidhu after a “woman member of family died at a very young age”. Sobti also said that “guard of Harpreet Sidhu’s father who was brigadier [in the Army] had fired at Majithia’s grandfather when he went to meet him.” Sobti said Majithia recorded all this in his statement before the SIT on Wednesday.

Majithia was not available for comment. Majithia on Wednesday appeared before the SIT in Mohali on the directions of Punjab and Haryana High Court which granted him interim bail in a drugs case against him on Monday. Assistant Inspector General Balraj Singh, the chief of the Special Investigation Team formed by the Congress government in Punjab to probe the case against Majithia, was not present during the questioning of Majithia. Balraj’s son Princepreet Singh was given promotion in local rank of inspector by then DGP Siddharth Chattopadhyaya, days after a case under sections of NDPS Act was registered against Majithia and SIT headed by Balraj Singh formed. Balraj Singh said that he was down with Covid infection.

Majithia’s lawyer said as many as four DSP’s were present as the Akali leader was questioned for an hour and half. Sources said “a former Senior Superintendent of Police who is awaiting regular posting headed the team which questioned Majithia”.

Emerging out after the questioning, Majithia said he had honored the Punjab and Haryana High Court directions and will continue to abide by in future. Majithia hit out at Congress government alleging that he was ‘framed in a false case” even as the trial court had given verdict in Punjab drugs case.
Majithia said a three-member committee of top IPS officers namely Ishwar Singh, V Neeraja and G Nageswara Rao had found nothing against him as High Court directed to look into the drug case. He also said that observations by then Home Secretary and DGP on Sidhu’s report be also made public.

Sources said that the three-member committee of IPS officers found nothing against Majithia as it filed as many as 11 challans in connections with different drug cases, in one of which Majithia’s role was under scanner. “No evidence was found against Majithia,” said a senior government functionary.

Calling Siddharth Chattopad- hyaya “a 20 day DGP”, Majithia hit out at him and said “UPSC had not even considered him to be empanelled in three names of DGP.” He also lashed out Punjab CM Charanjit Singh Channi, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee chief Navjot Singh Sidhu and deputy minister and State’s home minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa for “hatching conspiracies” to target him.

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