New Delhi, September 10 (PTI): The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Friday stayed the arrest of former Punjab DGP Sumedh Singh Saini in all cases pending against him, or likely to be registered, till assembly elections in Punjab slated to be held in February next year.
Justice Arvind Singh Sangwan observed that “the involvement of petitioner (Saini) in multiple cases can be a political ploy in the wake of coming state legislative assembly general elections”.
”Considering it to be a case of exceptional circumstances and hardship being caused to the petitioner by the state of Punjab (on political grounds), there will be a clear stay for the arrest of petitioner in all cases pending or likely to be registered or registered or where he is sought to be implicated in the aid of Section 120 B IPC (conspiracy),” he added.
The court also stayed conducting further investigation in all the FIRs pending against Saini.
”Attempts are made to arrest Saini in the aid of Section 120 B IPC as even in the previous FIRs where such attempts are made and the petitioner had to file repeated petitions before this court,” the judge wrote in his 46-page order.
The court also exempted Saini from personal appearance till February 2022 before any court where any trial is pending against him.
However, the court directed him not to leave the country without prior permission till February 2022.
Justice Sangwan asserted that he was conspicuous of the dare shown by the Punjab Police officials in trying to overreach the court, which was also a circumstance to be considered about the nature and quality of investigation being conducted by the Punjab Police in the FIRs.
”The only exception would be FIR No. 77, where the matter is pending before the Honourable Supreme Court,” the court ruled.
This relates to the disappearance and murder case of junior engineer B S Multani in 1991 in which the Supreme Court had granted anticipatory bail to Saini.
The case will now come up for hearing on December 13.
Saini was, among other things, seeking directions to the State of Punjab to hand over the investigation in any matter registered against him to the Central Bureau of Investigation, or to any other independent agency outside Punjab.
His counsels, senior advocate A P S Deol and H S Deol, contended that the petitioner apprehended false implication in criminal cases on account of malice, mala fides and ulterior motives on the part of the political party in power in the state.
Saini has been facing four cases, including forgery and cheating.
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