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Monday, September 20, 2021

Punjab: Court grants bail to SAD President Sukhbir Badal in ‘dual Constitution’ case

The trial court also fixed the next date of hearing on September 28, awaiting the original file of the case from the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Written by Anju Agnihotri Chaba | Jalandhar |
September 8, 2021 5:21:50 pm
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President, Sukhbir Singh Badal. (File)

Amid tight security, president of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) Sukhbir Badal Wednesday appeared before a trial court in Hoshiarpur to seek anticipatory bail in a case of ‘dual Constitution’ against his party.

Sukhbir was granted bail after he furnished a personal bail bond of Rs 1 lakh and local Akali leader Lali Bajwa stood as a surety. Due to high security, the normal functioning of the district court was hampered.

The trial court also fixed the next date of hearing on September 28, awaiting the original file of the case from the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Earlier on September 2, an interim anticipatory bail was granted to Sukhbir and Additional Session Judge Jatinder Pal Singh Khurmi had directed him to surrender in the trial court on or before September 13 and had said in case of his doing so, he will be released on interim bail.

Following this, Sukhbir appeared and furnished a personal bail bond. His advocates appealed for exemption from personal appearance in the court on the next hearing but the court asked them to move a plea on this on the same day.

After Sukhbir, senior Badal and former Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal is the only one yet to apply for a bail. Akali Dal Spokesperson Dr Daljeet Singh Cheema has already been granted bail.

The case of dual constitution against SAD was filed by Malta Boat Tragedy Mission Chairman and National Vice-President of Socialist Party Balwant Singh Khera.

While SAD was represented by three advocates — D S Sobti, H S Dhami and Arshdeep Kaler — the complainant is represented by advocates Hitesh Puri and B S Riar.

Puri said, “This case is based on implacable proof and its character is unbreachable.”

Earlier on August 27, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had rejected a petition filed by SAD against the proceedings of the Hoshiarpur Court that had summoned Sukhbir, Parkash and Daljeet.

A criminal complaint was filed under Sections 420,465,466, 467, 468, 471 and 120-B of IPC in 2009.

Khera said his only point in this case is that SAD is not a secular party as per the Constitution of India as it has two separate Constitutions — one submitted to the Gurdwara Election Commission and the other to the Election Commission of India — contents of which are contrary to each other.

Khera said SAD had registered itself as a secular party with ECI but it has been participating in the religious body Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) elections.

“In the year 1989, when an amendment was made in the Representation of People Act, 1950, a declaration under Section 29-A of the said Act was sought from all the political parties in the form of memorandum that the rules and regulations of any such party shall bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India and to the principles of Socialism, Secularism and Democracy and would also uphold the Sovereignty, unity and Integrity of India. Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) submitted a memorandum to the Election Commission of India in the year 1989 in which they declared that they adopt the Constitution of Shiromani Akali Dal and also declared that they shall adhere to the said provision of Section 29-A of the People Representation Act, 1950, whereas no such amendment was made in the original Constitution of Akali Dal which is not secular in nature,” Khera had said in the complaint filed in the court.

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