HC junks retired judge’s plaint against Sukhbir and Majithia

SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal (File/Express Photo by Renuka Puri)

The Punjab and Haryana High Court Friday dismissed the complaint filed by Justice (Retd) Ranjit Singh accusing Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal and party MLA Bikram Singh Majithia of bringing disrepute to a Commission of Inquiry headed by him and which probed into the desecration of religious texts in Punjab.

While a detailed judgment copy was not available till late evening, the lawyers associated with the case said the complaint was dismissed on the ground of maintainability. Pertinently, the order was reserved on October 30 following arguments over the question of complaint’s maintainability.

Justice Singh, as the chairperson of the commission, had filed the case against Badal and Majithia under the Commissions of Inquiry Act, 1952 in February this year. He had accused the two leaders of making defamatory statements against him in connection with the report of the commission set up by Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh to investigate the various incidents of sacrilege in state and the related incidents of police firing.

The counsel representing Badal and Majithia had argued that the complaint under the Act can be filed only by a member of the commission but the commission had ceased to exist when the complaint was filed before the HC Justice Singh.

The counsel representing the retired judge had argued that the question of maintainability does not arise as the HC already had summoned Badal and Majitiha and granted them bail after they made an appearance before the court. It was also argued that the complaint can be filed within six months after the commission of the offence.

On August 23 last year, Badal held a press conference insinuating that Justice Singh had no legal qualification and alleged that he had fabricated the documents, in preparation of the report.