Justifying Sumedh Singh Saini's appointment as the Punjab director general of police (DGP), the state government has questioned motives of Voices for Freedom, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), for challenging the appointment.
Stating that the NGO was supporting "radicals and militants", the government told the Punjab and Haryana high court that Saini had a "consistently outstanding record". Saini was appointed DGP on March 15.
However, the division bench comprising acting chief justice Jasbir Singh and justice Rakesh Kumar Jain told the NGO's counsel, "Don't bother about allegations. We are not taking note of their allegations against you. We would hear the case arguments on merit."
Following the court's earlier directions, DS Bains, principal secretary, home, Punjab, filed a 26-page affidavit containing the NGO's "hidden material facts" in the court on Wednesday. The court was informed that the NGO had a Facebook page on which many militants and radicals were sharing their views. The court was told that the NGO had its office in New York and its executive director was Sudip Minhas, daughter of retired police officer Anoop Singh Minhas.
The affidavit reads, "The case against Saini dates back to 1994, when he was a superintendent of police (SP). He has been promoted from the rank of SP to DIG, IGP, ADGP and DGP during this period. The promotions and postings have been done by the competent authorities after considering all aspects."
After going through the affidavit, the bench asked the NGO's counsel whether the organisation was registered and from where it got funds for filing the public interest litigation and paying fee to Supreme Court advocate KN Bal Gopal, who was not present in the court here on Wednesday. On this, the counsel said the NGO was registered in Punjab, adding that he had paid the fee to the apex court lawyer from his own pocket and it would be refunded by Sudip Minhas.
The petitioner NGO had submitted that in the 1994-95 Ludhiana 'abduction and killing' case, the special CBI court in Delhi had chargesheeted Saini and other accused in 2006 under sections 364 (kidnapping or abducting in order to murder), 120B (criminal conspiracy), 341 (wrongful restraint) and 342 (wrongful confinement) of the Indian Penal Code and the trial was still pending in the court. Hence, Saini should not have been appointed DGP, the NGO had argued.
Since Bal Gopal was not present in the court, the NGO's counsel requested the court for some time, following which the case was adjourned for July 26.