The Punjab and Haryana high court on Friday stayed all the proceedings before the trial courts in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances (NDPS) cases registered against international drug racket kingpin Jagdish Singh alias Bhola and co-accused industrialist Jagjit Singh Chahal.
The decision came from the court presided over by justice K Kannan during the resumed hearing of a petition filed by Bhola’s father Balchinder Singh seeking a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into multi-crore drug racket unearthed last year.
Bhola is lodged in Nabha jail, and Chahal is out on bail from Nabha jail since March this year. Chahal owns pharmaceutical units in Baddi in Solan district of Himachal Pradesh.
When Punjab advocate general Ashok Aggarwal informed the court that the state government had filed an application before the division bench headed by the acting chief justice on October 28 for directions that all petitions related to international drug racket be heard by one court only, justice Kannan said that then the decision on the application, by the division bench should be awaited first. Hence the court adjourned the case sine die.
But before passing the orders, justice Kannan took a serious note of the Punjab government’s move of filing such an application before the division bench when the petitioner’s counsel submitted that the state government had not even disclosed in its application that Chahal’s petition seeking a CBI probe had been reserved for final judgment by justice Kannan’s court.
Justice Kannan said the state government’s move had created an embarrassing situation for him as his court had reserved Chahal’s case for final judgment and had partly heard Balchinder’s petition.
Counsels appearing for Balchinder and Bhola raised serious objections on the state government’s move of moving the application for clubbing all cases after such a long time. They argued that it was an intentional move by the state government to harass the petitioners. When justice Kannan decided to adjourn the case sine die, the petitioners’ counsels requested the court that the proceedings before the trial courts against the petitioners should be stayed, which the court accepted.