The Supreme Court on Tuesday, 15 September, ordered that former Punjab Director General of Police (DGP) Sumedh Singh Saini will not be arrested till further orders, while hearing hearing a plea filed by the former Punjab Director General of Police, seeking anticipatory bail in a case related to alleged abduction and murder of Junior Engineer Balwant Singh Multani in 1991, news agency ANI reported.
The apex court also issued a notice to the Punjab government seeking its response on plea of the former Punjab DGP seeking anticipatory bail. The matter will be next heard after two weeks, ANI reported.
Speaking on behalf of his client, Saini’s counsel Mukul Rohatgi said that the FIR was registered against Saini in a mala fide manner, adding that the state government is after Saini because he had filed two charge sheets which had current Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh as an accused.
A three-judge Bench led by Justice Ashok Bhushan on Tuesday started hearing the bail plea moved by Saini in the apex court last week to avoid his arrest, as the state police have been conducting raids to nab him.
On 7 September, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had declined to entertain his anticipatory bail plea in the Multani kidnapping and murder case.
"In the light of the seriousness of offences that have come about, there being every likelihood of petitioner stifling fair investigations and trial and for which custodial interrogation of the petitioner is very much essential to piece together this unfortunate incident, necessitates dismissal of the instant bail application," the HC had said.
The High Court had also said "since it is at this juncture, the investigating agency has woken up and gathered courage to investigate its own officer and therefore, the vital pieces of evidence which would come handy in leading to various leads would inch towards unravelling this puzzle which too has baffled the citizenry who are looking upon the justice system as a last resort to get justice", reported news agency IANS.
The Punjab Police have also filed a caveat to pre-empt Saini from getting ex-parte relief from the apex court. If Saini doessn’t get any relief, then he would have to surrender.
In May, Saini was booked at a police station in Mohali along with six others in the case and in August, a murder charge was added after two of the accused policemen gave details of the incident. He is also facing trial in a special CBI court in Delhi in the alleged abduction of automobile businessman Vinod Kumar, his brother-in-law Ashok Kumar and their driver Mukhtiyar Singh.
In March 1994, Vinod Kumar and Mukhtiyar were picked up by the police from the parking lot of the Punjab and Haryana High Court and Ashok Kumar was allegedly abducted from Ludhiana on the same day, according to an IANS report.
The High Court had directed the CBI to register the case and it was transferred to Delhi by the apex court in 2004, after Vinod Kumar's mother contended that Saini may influence witnesses.
(With inputs from IANS and ANI.)
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