The Punjab and Haryana high court pulled up the special investigation team (SIT) looking into the Jagdish Bhola drug racket case for not probing the role of a “gentleman”, whom the court also compared with famous Bollywood villain character, ‘Mogambo’.
The high court bench of justices, Surya Kant and Darshan Singh, was hearing a bail plea of accused Maninder Aulakh on Friday.
The court sought a report on the investigation with regard to the role of two absconding NRIs, Satpreet Singh alias Satta and Parminder Singh Pindi, who allegedly had a link with a Punjab minister.
Formed in October 2015, the court-appointed SIT comprises three inspector general-rank officers Ishwar Singh, G Nageshwar Rao and V Neerja. It was asked to re-look into the FIRs registered in the racket and remove chinks in the investigations already done. It was to complete the probe by December 31 and submit supplementary chargesheets, if required. In May 2016, it was given more time to complete the investigation.
“Why this gentleman is there in every meeting. If he does not have anything to do with the matter, what is he doing with these people?” the HC bench said without naming anybody. “Who is here Bollywood Mogambo?” the high court bench said, questioning the SIT on probe, stating that investigations created “doubts” on the conclusion reached at by the SIT.
The report was submitted in a sealed envelope and while perusing it, the high court without referring to any names asked SIT how it probed two persons who were part of a 2009 meeting but ignored the role of the third person. “They were not there for social service. Genesis of everything starts from this meeting,” the HC bench observed. As one of the SIT officials tried to reason that it was altogether a different case and nothing was supplied, the HC bench further questioned when money exchanged hands, which obviously was not for social cause, the role of third person should have been probed.
The report was sought by the high court, asking the SIT whether Punjab Police had shown the ‘same zeal’ in the investigation against these two NRIs as in other cases involving businessman Jagjit Singh Chahal and Sukhjit Sukha. The SIT was also asked to list the efforts made to nab them.
Later while posting the matter for August 3, the bench expressed displeasure over the investigation and sought a fresh status report. It also looked dissatisfied over the ED’s probe report, observing that the agency could not investigate ‘clues’ it got during the initial questioning of some people in the case. A fresh report has also been sought from the ED as well.