August 21, 2021 12:23:56 pm
While dictating the order to release former Punjab DGP Sumedh Singh Saini, who had been arrested by the state Vigilance Bureau on Wednesday, the Justice Arun Kumar Tyagi noted that in the course of hearing “an email was received on the official ID” of the Punjab and Haryana High Court “purporting to have been sent by Harvinder Pal Singh, PPS, Investigation Officer FIR number 11 dated 17.09.2020,” at police station phase-I, Vigilance Bureau, Mohali.
The Vigilance Bureau had arrested Saini in connection with a case registered in September 17, 2020 for cheating, forgery, corruption and other offences. Saini was released early on Friday after the single bench of Justice Tyagi allowed a habeas corpus petition moved by the former DGP’s wife’s on Thursday.
The high court judge noted that that the email was addressed to the Chief Justice and sought transfer of petitions involving Saini this year and in 2018 to “any other Coordinate Bench on account of the undue hurry being shown by the said Bench and the manner in which no opportunity is being given to the State to present its case”.
“However, there was no communication regarding passing of any order for withdrawal of the case from this Court. No request for recusal was made by the learned Counsel for the parties…This court reserves the right to take appropriate action in respect of said e-mail aspersions regarding hurry in hearing the matter without realizing that any habeas corpus petition raises serious issue of unlawful detention which ha to be heard on urgent basis,” noted Justice Tyagi in his order.
Harvinder Pal Singh did not respond to several calls made to him.
A top vigilance official, wishing not be named, confirmed that Harvinder Pal Singh had sent the email to Punjab and Haryana Court alleging “bias”.
The official said that high court on October 11, 2018 had held that Saini would be served a seven-day notice if any action was to be contemplated against him. On September 23, 2020, the court had extended the protection of the October 2018 order to any incident during Saini’s entire service career.
The official added that the September 2020 case, in which Saini has been booked, pertains to period after which the IPS officer had retired.
The official said, “The Punjab government will file a petition in the Supreme Court to clarify that seven day notice period only relates to cases registered against Saini when he was serving.”
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