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Friday, January 21, 2022

Court rejects Majithia’s anticipatory bail plea

The court orders stated that the question on legality of FIR also cannot be a ground for grant of anticipatory bail.

Written by Jagdeep Singh Deep | Mohali |
Updated: December 25, 2021 9:34:02 am
Majithia has been booked for alleged involvement in a drug case by the Punjab Police.. (File)

The district court on Friday dismissed the anticipatory bail application of SAD leader Bikramjeet Singh Majithia in connection with the drugs case. Majithia had applied for the bail on Thursday.

While rejecting the bail application of Majithia, the court of Additional District and Sessions Judge (ADSJ), ordered that in this case, though, from the facts, the applicant has tried to make out a case of political vendetta but applicant himself was one of the powerful person in the state politics till the year 2017 and delay in lodging the FIR cannot be a ground to presume that whole case against the applicant is false.

The orders further stated that the question on legality of FIR also cannot be a ground for grant of anticipatory bail. The FIR has been registered on the basis of report which prima facie shows the involvement of the applicant in the drug trade and harbouring of accused involved in drug mafia.

“All these facts and financial transactions and extend of complicity of the applicant needs to be thoroughly investigated which can be done only under custodial interrogation of the applicant and not under protection of anticipatory bail. Hence, keeping in view all the facts and the gravity of the offence it is not a fit case where benefit of anticipatory bail can be granted to the bail applicant,” the court ordered.

The orders stated, “Finding no merit in the bail plea, it has been dismissed. However, any observation made herein shall have no bearing on the merits of the case.” The Special Public Prosecutor, Raman Kaushal, during his arguments referred to Section 50 of Prevention of Money Laundering Act and argued that these statements are admissible under the law and have been rightly made basis of report and present FIR.

These are sufficient to make out a case against the applicant and further investigation is to be carried out to bring out the truth of the entire matter.
The prosecution further argued that the main persons involved in the drug trade, have not come on record as they are abroad. The link of the applicant with those persons and their role is to be investigated.

“The applicant in his statement before the Enforcement Directorate has made evasive replies to various questions put to him and therefore his custody is required to further investigate the matter and only then the support and financial transactions of applicant with other accused will be ascertained. The applicant will have to be confronted with other persons whose statements were recorded and some of whom have been convicted,” the prosecution argued.

Arguing further, the prosecution stated that since the cases involving larger public interest and complicated facts, the custodial interrogation yields better results and accused may not answer truly to the questions put to him when he is under the protection of anticipatory bail.

The prosecution argued, “The circumstances of the present case are peculiar and different. The applicant is a powerful political person and keeping in view the gravity of allegations, he should not be granted the benefit of anticipatory bail.”

The defence consel R S Cheema argued that when F.I.R. itself is illegal, the police cannot be allowed to arrest the applicant. The Special Public Prosecutor on the other hand argued that FIR has been registered after opinion of Advocate General, Punjab and even if there is any illegality, applicant could approach High Court for quashing the same but this argument is not available at the stage of bail application.

The question as to whether the FIR is result of political vendetta or is illegal are moot questions of facts and law. At the stage of deciding bail application, the merits of the case and other related facts are to be seen and applicant cannot be granted the benefit of anticipatory of bail on these grounds.

The counsel for applicant further argued that head of STF who submitted status report did not record statement of any witness and status report is only an opinion based on the report of Enforcement Directorate. The alleged statements are exculpatory statements of persons who are themselves accused/convicts and are not admissible against the applicant.

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