The Punjab government has approved filing a special leave petition (SLP) in the Supreme Court to challenge the controversial judgment of justice Muttaci Jeyapaul of the Punjab and Haryana high court of not only accepting the direct surrender of industrialist Paramjit Singh Chahal in international drug racket case but also granting him bail.
On April 6, Hindustan Times had highlighted how justice Jeyapaul in an “unusual” practice had accepted the direct surrender and granted bail to Chahal, owner of pharmaceutical companies in Baddi, Himachal Pradesh, even though he had not first followed the set practice of approaching the trial court.
This was a setback to the Punjab special investigating team (SIT) working on the case that also involved Arjuna Award winning wrestler Jagdish Bhola.
After the March 22 judgment, chief justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul had on March 28 taken away the judge’s powers to hear bail matters.
Punjab advocate general Ashok Aggarwal had recommended to the state home department to challenge the judgment in the Supreme Court, and the recommendation was approved on Saturday (April 19) finally. The SIT headed by Patiala senior superintendent of police Hardial Singh Mann had also advocated that the home department should challenge the judgment.
ISSUES RAISED IN SLP
As per the advocate general, 11 issues would be raised in the SLP to be filed shortly to challenge the judgment of justice Jeyapaul. First, justice Jeyapaul did not await the outcome of the forensic report in the drug haul case, even though the Punjab government counsel had insisted on it.
The report had confirmed the samples seized to be methamphetamine (ICE), a psychotropic substance, and many seized boxes to contain a mixture of pseudoephedrine and ICE.
Also the SIT had seized around 500-gram ICE from the licensed premises of industrialist brothers Chahals (Jagjit Singh Chahal being the second) and they allegedly didn’t have license for making it. Even 50 gram of the drug is considered commercial quantity. The pseudoephedrine seized is raw material for producing ICE.
The SLP will also raise the point that justice Jeyapaul “not only allowed the surrender of Paramjit Singh Chahal but protected him from arrest and custodial interrogation immediately”, even though the custody was of utmost importance for fair probe by the SIT.
The advocate general’s office has also raised questions on justice Jeyapaul’s directions that Paramjit Singh Chahal would make himself available along with his advocate for investigation before the SIT.
HP DRUGS DEPT REPORT
Replying to the specific quest i o ns by t he SI T, t he Baddi (Himachal Pradesh) drug inspector had confir med that as the forensic science laboratory (FSL) had found, the industrialist brothers had not used the mixture of pseudoephedrine and ICE for making any licensed medicine at their Baddi factories. This means these drugs were stored illegally.
CANCEL LICENCE: SIT
The SIT will write to the Central Bureau of Narcotics headquarters at Gwalior to cancel the drug-manufacturing license of Chahal brothers. It will also ask the Himachal Pradesh drug controller’s office to cancel the licence of Chahals’ Baddi unit.