The Punjab and Haryana high court on Thursday directed the Punjab Police to provide interim security to a Ludhiana resident, Jaswinder Singh Walia, alleging threat to his life from now-transferred Chandigarh's senior superintendent of police (SSP) Naunihal Singh, since he knew "personal life secrets" and "benami land purchase deals" of the police officer.
The bench headed by justice Daya Chaudhary, while issuing notice of motion to the Punjab government, directed it to submit the report within a week whether there was any serious threat perception to the petitioner.
Reasoning non-issuance of notice to Naunihal Singh for the time being, the court said, "Only prayer is to protect life and liberty of the petitioner. At this stage notice can be issued to the state of Punjab only."
However, when questioned by the bench, the petitioner's counsel Ravi Kanal Gupta submitted that the petition had become bulky because there were copies of benami land purchase deeds worth crores of rupees by Naunihal in various states, the court replied, "You have made it a serious matter." Justice Chauhdary also reiterated, "No officer can be above law."
While allowing petitioner's prayer for interim security before the Punjab Police could file its report, the court made it clear, "Threat perception should be there for providing security. Punjab Police have to check. Nowadays security has become a status symbol. Get instructions as to how to meet out the expenses of security."
On this, the petitioner's counsel Ravi Kamal Gupta submitted, "petitioner is ready to bear the security expenses."
The court also took on record the telephone transcripts submitted by the petitioner in which he allegedly was coaxed by Naunihal on December 4 to withdraw his petition from the court.
The case has now been posted for next hearing on December 20.