Punjab local bodies and medical education minister Anil Joshi has failed to get any immediate relief from the court here in the three cases in which non-bailable arrest warrants were issued against him.
The minister had sought anticipatory bail from the court to avoid being arrested in case he appears on Friday. On Thursday, the application came up before district and sessions judge Gurbir Singh, who instead fixed the next hearing on May 12. The court also issued notices for May 12 to advocates Sandeep Gorsi and Vaneet Mahajan, complainants in two cases.
On May 3, judicial magistrate (first class) issued the non-bailable arrest warrants against Joshi since he had not appeared in court in the three cases. The court took a serious note of his seeking repeated exemptions from personal appearance since December last year, when he secured bail after surrendering in the court.
The court had ordered cancellation of his bail and surety bonds and directed him to appear before the judge on May 20. Two of the cases are of defamation that Gorsi and Mahajan have filed separately, and the third relates to demolishing part of Mahajan's marriage palace in an anti-encroachment drive of Amritsar Municipal Corporation (AMC). The lawyer had alleged that the AMC had acted on the instructions of local bodies minister Joshi.
'Dual vote' case coming up today
Commenting on the minister's seeking anticipatory bail, complainants Gorsi and Mahajan said it was because the "dual vote" case against Anil Joshi and eight other members of his family was coming up for hearing on Friday.
"His appearing in the court on Friday can lead to his arrest," said the advocates, pointing out that neither the minister nor his relatives had attended the first hearing on May 5. It was on directions from the Election Commission of India (ECI) that the Amritsar district election authorities filed a criminal complaint in a local court against Joshi and his relatives under the Representation of the People Act.