The newspaper reports, based on which Rajinder Pal Singh of Akhand Kirtani Jatha filed a defamation case against Shiromani Akal Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal “are correct,” the Chandigarh Police Thursday said in a status report filed in local court here.
Sub Inspector Jaspal Singh filed the report, under Section 202 CrPC, in the court of Geetanjali Goel, Judicial Magistrate First Class.
The report mentions that during the course of inquiry, statements of both Badal and Rajinder Pal were recorded. While Rajinder Pal stood by his complainant, Badal denied the allegations. The police, in the report said that they verified reports published in in an English newspaper and two vernaculars and found them to be correct.
The Chandigarh Police, in the report, said that they also tried to verify the contents of a TV news report, a video clip of which was provided by the complainant, but couldn’t trace the reporter. It, however, added that the alleged statements were made by former deputy chief minster Badal in Jalalabad during 2017 Punjab Assembly election.
Rajinder Pal, a Mohali resident, had filed the case against Badal under Section 499 (defamation) of IPC, the same year.
The petition, filed through advocate PIP Singh, mentions that Rajinder Pal had been serving the Sikh community through a Akhand Kirtani Jatha, a religious organisation, of which he has been the chief spokesperson for past 10 years. Rajinder Pal and Akhand Kirtani Jatha had in the past criticised the Punjab government for failing to stop the desecration of Guru Granth Sahib and identifying the real culprits behind it.
The desecration had taken place when SAD-BJP combine was in power and Badal was the deputy chief minister in the government headed by his father Parkash Singh Badal.
The lawyer argued that due to such reasons, the accused (Badal) carried a grudge against the complainant. As per the petition, January 4, 2017, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal visited Pal’s house and the matter was published in various newspapers. Later, Badal had termed the Akhand Kirtani Jatha as the political front of Babbar Khalsa International, which was widely published in the newspapers.
“…Kejriwal comes to Punjab and starts liaisioning with radicals. The day before yesterday, he was having breakfast with Akhand Kirtani Jatha, which is political front of Babbar Khalsa International, which is the biggest terrorist organisation…,” the petition mentioned Badal as saying in a press statement.
The complainant said that Badal’s statement was totally “baseless, slanderous, defamatory with the purpose of intentionally defaming him,” and due to which, a well wisher taunted him to be a terrorist in front of other friends. Rajinder Pal claimed that while he tried to make it clear that he had no links with any terrorist outfit, the “well wisher”, however, said that he had read about it in the newspapers.