The Punjab and Haryana high court on Wednesday directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to give details of the steps being taken for the extradition of foreign-based persons suspected to be involved in the multi-crore synthetic drug racket case.
The directions from the high court bench of justice Surya Kant and justice PB Bajanthri came after the Punjab government told the court that it had forwarded the names of 12 alleged accused living abroad, following which the CBI had issued red-corner notices against them. CBI counsel SS Sandhu informed the court that one person had been indentified in Canada and another in the US. However, neither Punjab nor the CBI shared the names. The latter sought time to file details about these accused.
As per the Punjab Police investigations so far, names of several NRIs have cropped up, including Paramjit Singh alias Pindi, Amaninder Laddi, Harbans Singh Sidhu, Gursewak Singh Dhillon, Amardeep Singh Kooner, Ranjit Singh Aujla, Pardeep Singh Dhaliwal, Lehmber Singh Daleh, Sarabjit Singh Sander, Nirankar Singh Dhillon and Amarinder Singh Chhina.
Following the submissions, the high court bench directed the CBI to file a status report on steps being taken for the extradition. The CBI has also been directed to list out the impediments, if any, in their extradition.
What about ‘drug lords’ here: ex-DGP (prisons)
Former director general of police (DGP, prisons) Shashi Kant submitted before the court that the Punjab Police owed an explanation as to what action it had taken against those accused in the Jagdish Bhola drug racket case who were allegedly involved and were residing in the country. Action has been taken against petty peddlers only, Kant alleged before the court. Senior advocate Anupam Gupta also underlined the need for establishing linkages between the accused based in India and abroad and expediting the probe.
The Union ministry of home affairs (MHA) produced a letter written by the Border Security Force (BSF) last year, seeking sealing of the international border with Pakistan to check drug peddling. However, MHA sought more time to file the action-taken report on the letter.
The high court bench also directed drug controllers of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh to give details about their enforcement wings and machinery available to check violations in the case of controlled drugs. They have also been asked to submit a report of the action taken by them against those found involved in the abuse of controlled substances.