The Punjab government's withdrawal of a drug smuggling case against singer KS Makhan is under the scanner of the high court now. Taking up a public interest litigation (PIL) on Friday, the Punjab and Haryana HC directed the state government to produce details of the decision taken by the home affairs department.
The directions came from a division bench headed by chief justice Arjan Kumar Sikri on a petition filed by advocate HC Arora, who has challenged the withdrawal of the case that had been registered against Makhan, his relative Hardeep Singh and six other persons on August 1, 2006, under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act. The chargehseet was presented in April last year, and additional sessions judge, Jalandhar, framed the charges on February 22 this year.
But when the case was to come up for prosecution evidence, the home department directed the deputy commissioner of Jalandhar to withdraw the case.
Arora informed the high court that under the directions of the Punjab State Human Rights Commission, the state police's crime branch had even conducted an inquiry and concluded that the FIR had been registered rightly. Further, Arora said, in such cases where there is no specific complainant or victim, and the crime is against society at large, a public notice must be issued to invite objections against the proposed withdrawal. The case would now come up for hearing on March 26.
Know the case
KS Makhan and two other Canadian citizens, Lakhwinder Singh Lakha and Raja Boparai, allegedly used to receive heroin from Makhan's brother Hardeep Singh, a resident of Shankar village in Jalandhar. It was alleged that Makhan, Boparai and Lakha used to send money through the hawala route to Hardeep to purchase drugs from smugglers in Jalandhar, Nakodar and Ludhiana.