While dismissing the anticipatory bail plea of former Punjab DGP Sumedh Singh Saini in a 29-year-old murder case on Tuesday, Punjab and Haryana High Court cited the arguments advanced by the prosecution about the “political patronage” and “influence” enjoyed by the “blue-eyed boy” who was a “law unto himself”.
Saini is accused of allegedly abducting and killing then Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Development Corporation junior engineer Balwant Singh Multani.
Justice Fateh Deep Singh, in the order dismissing Saini’s anticipatory bail application, also noted. “In the light of the seriousness of offences that have come about there being every likelihood of petitioner stifling fair investigations and for which custodial interrogation of the petitioner is very much essential to piece together this unfortunate incident”.
“As has been argued for the state, the petitioner happened to be a blue- eyed boy and with political patronage wielded great influence and was law unto himself and even went on to the extent of intimidating judicial process which is evident from the observations of this court in Vinod Kumar’s case by a senior judge of this court followed by earlier recusal in these matters by two sitting judges of this court,” read the order.
Two High Court judges had recused themselves from hearing the petitions moved by Saini— one for anticipatory bail which was marked to Justice Suvir Sehgal and other for quashing of FIR or handing over case to the CBI which was marked to Justice Amol Rattan Singh. The petitions were subsequently marked to Justice Fateh Deep Singh.
The order also noted: “Moreover, as is brought to the notice of this court that in the trial of this case at New Delhi the petitioner has intimidated even the investigating officer of the CBI forcing him to turn hostile.”
Saini is facing trial in Delhi’s special CBI court for alleged abduction of three Ludhiana men – Vinod Kumar, his brother-in-law Ashok Kumar and their driver Mukhtiar Singh – back in 1994.
The order by Justice Fateh Deep Singh, while pointing out that much evidence of police officials and other witnesses had come up after the decision of his earlier bail application, said that “an urgent need arises to preserve the same from prying eyes of the petitioner, for the trial”.
Pertinently, the section of murder was added against Saini in the Multani abduction, disappearance and torture case on May 6 after two co-accused policemen turned approver against the ex-DGP last month.