Arrest warrants were issued on Thursday against four members of the family of the sitting legislator of Moga, who has been re-elected recently after switching allegiance to the state's ruling alliance.
Swarnlata Jain, wife of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) legislator Joginder Pal Jain; his sons, Ankit and Puneet; and daughter, Rohini, had their bail cancelled here over their failing repeatedly to attend the hearing of a case registered at Mehna in this district in 2007.
The judicial magistrate (first class) has ordered the police to produce the four on or before March 22. The case against them was registered on August 26, 2007, under the Punjab Apartment and Property Regulation Act.
In the case Jain and four members of his family are suspects. The matter was transferred from a Moga court to the Faridkot after Jain had pleaded before the district and sessions Judge of Farikdot, stating that he was unable to hire a reputed lawyer in Moga because of the influence of his political rivals.
The Moga legislator and his family on Thursday also moved an application to the court through their counsel, seeking exemption from the personal appearance. The court turned down the request and issued the arrest warrants instead.
The court, however, granted exemption to Jain in view of the ongoing Vidhan Sabha session where his presence is required. The suspects missed the previous four hearings, which delayed the court proceedings.
Jain, who won two consecutive assembly elections for the Congress from Moga, shifted to the SAD and was re-elected to the house in February. On February 5 as well, the court had issued non-bailable warrants against his son, Puneet Jain, who had also failed to turn up before court during repeated hearings.
The court had cancelled his bail and declined to accept his argument that he could not fly back to India because of non-availability of ticket. On March 4, Puneet had also applied for anticipatory bail before the additional sessions judge of Farikdot. He lives abroad since jumping bail.
As Congressman, Jain had alleged that the case was motivated politically and pointed the finger at the SAD leaders. His family was charged with using agricultural land for commercial purpose.