The Punjab and Haryana high court has given more time to the special investigation team (SIT) probing the Jagdish Bhola drug racket case to submit a progress report on the role of NRIs, Satpreet Singh alias Satta and Parminder Singh alias Pindi, both perceived to have close links with a senior cabinet minister of the Punjab government.
In the case of Satta, the SIT has sought 15 days more time for a fresh report. As of Pindi, a status report in a sealed envelope was filed by the SIT, and after going through it, the high court bench of justice Surya Kant and justice Sudip Ahluwalia has asked the investigating team to submit its next report within three weeks on certain aspects of the earlier report.
The SIT, comprising three officers of the inspector general of police (IGP) rank, including Ishwar Singh, G Nageshwar Rao and V Neerja, was formed by the high court on October 10 last year to review the investigations into the entire controversy.
It was in May that while hearing a bail plea of accused Maninder Aulakh, the high court told the SIT to identify the role of Satta and Pindi and list out the efforts made to nab them. The court had observed that it appeared to be a concerted effort to “protect” and allow Satta to go “scot-free”.
On July 8, the SIT submitted its first report on these two NRIs and after its perusal, the high court had shown its dissatisfaction over the probe against Satta and pointed out some inconsistencies in the probe.
The HC had also referred to a continuous presence of a “gentleman” with these NRIs and others involved in the drug racket case without naming him, questioning as to what he was doing with such persons. As the SIT reports submitted in the probe are not being made public, it is not clear as to whom the court was referring to and what progress has been made by the SIT so far.