The Supreme Court on Tuesday gave interim protection from arrest to former Punjab Director General of Police (DGP) Sumedh Singh Saini in connection with a 1991 case of kidnapping and murder.
A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy and M R Shah asked the Punjab government to file its reply to Saini’s plea for anticipatory bail in three weeks time and gave one week to Saini to respond to what the state says.
Directing that the matter be listed after four weeks, the court said “in the meantime, petitioner shall not be arrested in connection with FIR No.0077 of Police Station Mataur for offences under Sections 364, 201, 344, 330, 219, 120-B and 302 IPC subject to him cooperating with the investigation”.
The case relates to the disappearance of a junior engineer Balwant Singh Multani in 1991.
Appearing for Saini, Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi said the state government is after him because he had filed two chargesheets which included the name of current Chief Minister Amarinder Singh. Senior Advocate APS Deol also appeared for Saini.
During the hearing, the bench asked senior advocate Siddharth Luthra, appearing for the Punjab government, why it was in a hurry to arrest Saini in the case that is 29 years old.
Luthra said post registration of FIR, statements of approvers have been recorded and that witnesses had said that a poster which that claimed Multani had escaped from prison, is not of him.
He contended that Rohatgi was attributing motives to the judge that rejected Saini’s bail plea earlier this month. Luthra added that he even the Punjab and Haryana High Court had noted that Saini misused his powers.
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