CHANDIGARH: Senior leader of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and brother-in-law of SAD’s president Sukhbir Singh Badal, Bikram Singh Majithia was granted interim anticipatory bail on Monday by the Punjab and Haryana High Court in a drug case that was slapped against him by Congress government in December.
Justice Lisa Gill, while granting him bail, however, made it clear that the senior Akali leader would join investigations in the case.
The move by HC is likely to bring relief to SAD and may provide it ammunition at a time when Congress is grappling with leadership crisis while several survey projections are showing Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) ahead of all political outfits in the February 14 elections. AAP has been calling the FIR as a fixed match between Channi and Badals.
Majithia, a sitting MLA and former minister in the SAD government, Majithia has been evading arrest after a case under the provisions of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act was registered at Mohali on December 20. Soon after case, a lookout notice was also issued to arrest Majithia.
He (Majithia) moved the high court after a Mohali court dismissed his anticipatory bail petition. Majithia was represented by senior advocates Mukul Rohatgi and RS Cheema with counsel DS Sobti and Arshdeep Singh Cheema.
“It is more than apparent that the present FIR has been registered against the petitioner keeping an eye on the forthcoming elections. The petitioner’s fundamental rights are at stake,” the petition read.
DS Sobti while talking with media said, “Bikram Singh Majithia will join investigation at 11 am on Wednesday. And the next hearing will be on January 18.”
His earlier bail before Mohali lower court was dismissed on grounds made by Punjab government that he was a powerful minister who no one could touch during 2007-17.
The HC move comes at a time when Channi government is facing embarassment over security lapses in Prime Minister Modi’s convoy in Ferozepur on January 5, triggering a Supreme Court intervention.
The HC move is also an embarassment for home minister Sukhjinder Randhawa and Channi, who had directed then DGP Siddharth Chattopadhyay to register the FIR against Majithia.
Punjab Police IPS officers and police headquarters officials are upset with Channi and Randhawa on alleged misuse of police force to settle police scores.
Channi government also came under lens after several terror alerts were missed by Ludhiana Police commissioner Gurpreet Bhullar, leading to the human bomb attack.
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What had added chaos to Ludhiana attack that followed the sacrilege incidents is the weak Punjab Police system and repeated use of controversial and promoted police officers like Ludhiana Police Commissioner Gurpreet Bhullar — who first dominated key postings in Mohali, Jalandhar and Ludhiana during SAD and then Channi-led regimes — despite availability of eligible senior regular recruit IPS officers.
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