HC tells Punjab to issue 7-day notice in case of action against Saini

Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, October 11

The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Thursday directed the issuance of a seven-day advance notice to former Punjab DGP Sumedh Singh Saini on his plea seeking directions to Punjab to hand over investigation in any matter registered against him to the CBI or any other independent agency outside the state.

Taking up his plea expressing apprehension of his false implication in criminal matters “on account of malice, mala fide and ulterior motives on the part of the political party in power in the state”, Justice Gurvinder Singh Gill directed the issuance of notice in case action was contemplated against him.

Justice Gill also put the state and the CBI on notice for November 28.

In his petition filed through counsel Jasdev Singh Mehndiratta and argued by senior advocate Vinod Ghai, Saini was seeking issuance of directions to the state to keep any proposal for arresting him in abeyance for a specific period to enable him to seek recourse to legal remedies.

Saini claimed that he was seen as a man who had launched criminal prosecution against the present Chief Minister and his coterie. He added that a number of criminal cases were registered against members of the political party now in power in Punjab during his tenure as state Vigilance Bureau head.

Referring to an FIR in a cheating, forgery and corruption case registered in March 2007 at the Vigilance Bureau police station in Ludhiana, Saini submitted that the present CM and other influential people were named as accused in the matter. Another FIR was registered against BIS Chahal, the then media adviser of the present CM, during his tenure as Vigilance Bureau head.

Saini claimed that cases were also registered against a number of other influential people. As a result of his efforts to unearth scams, he became an eyesore for political parties and faced immense pressure to scuttle investigations initiated by him against high-ups.

Saini said the political party in power unleashed a vendetta against the police officers who had investigated the cases against the high and mighty when they were in opposition.

His counsel said the petitioner was not summoned at any stage by the Justice Ranjit Singh Commission looking into the sacrilege incidents. He was in Chandigarh and not at Kotkapura where the force was allegedly used. No one at the headquarters was aware of the Behbal Kalan incident where two men had died even an hour after the incident. Yet, Punjab minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa vehemently and blatantly made the government’s intention clear that they wanted to arrest him, it was submitted.

He said the petitioner was shocked to read a news item on a head constable offering to become an approver in a case registered at Moga. The petitioner learnt about the existence of Aman Skoda referred to in the news report in mid-2014 and has never seen him. He learnt about the head constable from the newspapers, he added.

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