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Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Sacrilege cases in Punjab: CBI says it has filed SLP in apex court against HC order

The court of special CBI judge GS Sekhon fixed February 26 as the next date of hearing in the case.

Written by Jagdeep Singh Deep | Mohali | Published: January 9, 2020 9:17:13 pm
CBI, Supreme court, punjab government, Punjab, Chandigarh, Mohali Latest news, Updates, Indian Express The agency placed the information in the special CBI court here Wednesday.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has filed a special leave petition (SLP) in the Supreme Court against the order of the Punjab and Haryana High Court that had upheld the notification of the Punjab Government to withdraw the investigation into the Bargari sacrilege case from the central agency.

The agency placed the information in the special CBI court here Wednesday. The court of special CBI judge GS Sekhon fixed February 26 as the next date of hearing in the case. “The matter is pending in the supreme Court and thus this court cannot pass any order over whether or not the CBI has the jurisdiction to further investigate the sacrilege cases, the court said in its order.

The court also directed the CBI to file the status of SLP, on the next date of hearing, so that it may proceed further as per law or as per the directions of the apex court if any.

The court was hearing a plea filed by granthi and the head of the Burj Jawahar Singh Wala gurdwara, Gora Singh and president of the gurdwara committee Ranjit Singh who had earlier sought a copy of the closure report filed by the central probe agency. The CBI on July 4 filed a closure report in the sacrilege cases after it failed to establish the involvement of the accused in the case.

Their counsel argued in the CBI court that as per the specific provisions of law, CBI has no right to file SLP in the apex court. Rather it can file Letter Patent Appeal (LPA) against the HC order.

The counsel for the complainants and the district attorney argued on two points: that the CBI may be restrained from further investigating the case due to lack of jurisdiction and the copy of the status report over further investigation in this case, which has been filed by the CBI in a sealed cover, may be ordered to be opened for the perusal by all the parties.

The court ordered that it is an independent prerogative of the investigating agency to conduct further investigation that too after the filing of the cancellation report, closure report or final report, only under the circumstances when any new facts have come to the surface.

“After going through the previous application in the shape of intimation, which had been filed by the CBI, it is clear that the agency has received some new information from the Punjab that too through the Director Bureau of Investigation, Punjab, due to which further investigation on the said new facts is required,” the order reads.

The court further ordered that under these circumstances, as per the statutory provisions of law, the court has no power to restrain the CBI from conducting further investigation.

As far as the keeping the status report in sealed cover is concerned, the court found that further investigation in this case is going on and is to be conducted by the CBI. Moreover, it is a serious case and by holding the fact that the contents of the status report is a part of the police file, which is to be kept by the investigating officer only and no other party including the accused are having right to peruse the same as has been mentioned in the specific provisions of Code of Criminal Procedure, specially under Section 172.

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