The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Monday ruled that the investigating officer inquiring into the alleged involvement of former Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh in the Amritsar land scam can “conduct custodial interrogation”, if necessary.
A division bench comprising Justices Adarsh Kumar Goel and Ajay Tewari did not find “any ground to stay” the order of expulsion of Amarinder from the assembly. “However, we consider it a fit case to fix a date for final hearing. Stay of expulsion will amount to grant of final relief, without hearing the other side,” the bench observed.
Amarinder had challenged the September 10 resolution of the assembly, expelling him for the remaining term.
Meanwhile, the court stayed the Vidhan Sabha resolution on the need for the former CM’s custodial interrogation, pointing out that the resolution couldn’t be treated as binding. The bench, however, made it clear “this interim order does not prevent the investigating officer from conducting custodial interrogation in accordance with law, if considered otherwise necessary”. Clarifying that “any observation made” in this interim order “will not be treated as binding at the time of final hearing”, the bench issued a notice to Vidhan Sabha and sought a reply on or before October 31. Final hearing is on December 1.