The Punjab and Haryana high court has clubbed all petitions related to the Bhola drug racket case it has been hearing.The order comes in the wake of the Supreme Court directions of February that required the high court to constitute a bench for disposing of all these petitions. The Supreme Court came to light during the hearing of some bail petitions related to the case before the division bench of justice AK Mittal and justice Rekha Mittal, after which, the high court ordered that the petitions be clubbed and put before a single bench.
The bail petitions were listed before the same bench that he hearing the main case related to the Punjab drug scandal but being heard separately. Now, the matter will also be heard with the main case, where the high court is monitoring investigation by Punjab Police.
The hearing on eight bail petitions of 11 accused was adjourned for Thursday to be held along with the main case. The petitioners include Paramjit Singh Chahal, Jagjit Singh Chahal, Maninder Singh “Bittu Aulakh”, Surjit Singh, and Dev Raj “Dev Behl”. On Wednesday, the Punjab government also filed the replies before the court on these petitions, challenging the release of these accused people on bail.
For Thursday’s hearing in the main case, the high court has summoned the entire record of money laundering investigation by Enforcement Directorate, where it has to take a call on whether the transfer of key ED official Niranjan Singh to Kolkata be allowed or not. The transfer was stayed in January after a lawyers’ group moved an application alleging that the officer was being shifted for daring to summon Punjab cabinet minister Bikram Singh Majithia.