Akali leader Bikram Majithia gets SC protection from arrest till Feb 23 - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

Akali leader Bikram Majithia gets SC protection from arrest till Feb 23

ByAsian News International
Jan 31, 2022 05:24 PM IST

A bench of CJI NV Ramana and Justices AS Bopanna and Hima Kohli asked Majithia to surrender before the trial court concerned on February 23 and apply for regular bail

While observing that the election in Punjab will be held on February 20, the Supreme Court on Monday granted protection from arrest to Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Bikram Singh Majithia till February 23 in a drugs case.

Shiromani Akali Dal leader and former Punjab minister Bikram Singh Majithia got a reprieve from the Supreme Court on Monday in the drugs case registered against him in Mohali on December 20 last year. (HT file photo)
Shiromani Akali Dal leader and former Punjab minister Bikram Singh Majithia got a reprieve from the Supreme Court on Monday in the drugs case registered against him in Mohali on December 20 last year. (HT file photo)

Also read: Covid shadow on polls: EC extends ban on roadshows till February 11

Get ready to catch the final stages of the World Cup only on Crickit. Anytime, Anywhere. Explore now!

A bench of Chief Justice of India NV Ramana and Justices AS Bopanna and Hima Kohli asked Majithia to surrender before the trial court concerned on February 23 and apply for regular bail.

Punjab told to avoid such cases on poll eve

It also asked senior advocate P Chidambaram, appearing for the Punjab government, to advise the state that such cases are not filed before elections.

The observation of the top court came when it told the Punjab government about another anticipatory bail plea filed by an MLA who complained of an FIR being registered ahead of the elections.

“There was another mentioning today regarding anticipatory bail of Simarjit Singh Bains, where a case has been registered against him. That case will be heard on Tuesday. Sorry to say suddenly these criminal cases are coming out before the elections,” the Bench said.

It added, “We are in a democracy, at least allow them to file nomination.”

Chidambaram said that he can assure the apex court that there will be no politically vindictive action in Punjab.

During the hearing, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi appearing for Majithia argued that this is a classic case of political humiliation and vendetta.

Chidambaram told the Bench that this is a gross case of an international drug racket. “Punjab now is sinking under a drug trail and we have to send a message that drug trafficking will not be taken lightly else the future of Punjab youth is damned,” Chidambaram added.

He added that custodial interrogation of Majithia is required in the case.

The Bench said it is not asking the government to hold its hands and not control drug mafias, but let the elections take place on February 20.

Chidambaram said let him surrender on February 21 and then the government can move the trial court for his custody.

The Bench, however, said Majithia will get protection from arrest till February 23 and thereafter he will surrender.

Last week, the Bench asked the Punjab government not to arrest Majithia till January 31, when his plea for anticipatory bail will be heard.

The Punjab and Haryana high court on January 24 had dismissed Majithia’s anticipatory bail plea.

The high court had granted three-day protection from arrest to Majithia for approaching the top court to challenge its order in which the anticipatory bail plea of the former minister was dismissed.

NDPS case in 2021 for allegations of 2014

Majithia, who is facing an FIR by Punjab Police in a Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS) case, was earlier granted interim bail by the high court on a condition of cooperating in the investigation.

Majithia was apprehending arrest after a case under the provisions of the NDPS Act was registered in Mohali on December 20 last year.

The petition filed through Karanjawala law firm, stated that “the present case is blatantly political in nature and has been registered with the malafide objective to target the petitioner who is the mainstream leader of the opposition party, one month prior to the polls in the state”.

“The current dispensation i.e. the Congress-led government has left no stone unturned to misuse its powers and position for wreaking vengeance against its political opponents and the petitioner is one such target. The gross abuse of the process of law and the vindicative nature of the FIR number 0002, dated December 20, 2021, is evident from the fact that the FIR has been registered in 2021 in respect of allegations/incidents of 2014. Thus, there is a gross and unexplained delay,” the plea in the apex court stated.

It said the FIR has been deliberately registered at a time just prior to the elections with the motive to remove the Majithia, who is the prime face of the opposition party, to gain political mileage.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Monday, June 24, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On