New bench to hear Bhola drug case

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: May 13, 2015 22:04 IST

The Jagdish Bhola drug racket case being followed across Punjab was on Thursday listed before another bench of the Punjab and Haryana high court for hearing.

On the daily case list put out on Wednesday evening, it was put before the division bench headed by justice SS Saron by the order of acting chief justice SJ Vazifdar. Earlier, the division bench of justice AK Mittal was hearing it.

During the last hearing on May 6, Enforcement Directorate (ED) officer Niranjan Singh, who is looking into the money-laundering aspect of the case, had submitted a note on the evidences on the basis of which the economic intelligence agency of the central government had summoned Punjab cabinet minister Bikram Singh Majithia. The high court bench had also discussed the case and the matter of Niranjan's transfer to Kolkata (stayed in January) with various counsels.

All bail applications and other matters related to the drug case are also listed before this new bench. It is not clear immediately why the bench has been changed, but a top official, who wished not to be named, attributed it to a Supreme Court order.

In February, the Supreme Court had directed the Punjab and Haryana high court to put all Bhola-drug-case-related matters before one bench. It had also sent back the bail appeals for putting before this bench.

Hearing the case on April 29, the high court division bench of justice AK Mittal had ordered the clubbing of all case-related petitions before the high court. In March, two division benches had recused themselves from hearing the case.

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