Bhola drug racket: Punjab Police should have acted fast, says HC

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Oct 14, 2015 11:15 IST

The Punjab and Haryana high court has stated that mere boasting about recovery or branding one or the other accused as the kingpin was not enough to eradicate the menace of drugs in Punjab.

“It’s neither the first nor the last nail in the coffin of drug menace…High-rank police officers, preferably with specialised trainings, ought to have taken the call as soon as the first case was detected,” the high court bench of justice Surya Kant and justice PB Bajanthri said, pointing out towards the negligence of police that failed to act till the drug menace in the state reached an alarming proportion.

The detailed judgment on petitions, seeking a Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI) probe, put out in the public domain on Tuesday said it was duty of police to ensure that every case is taken to its logical conclusion.

“Society has a fundamental human right to live free from drugs. The failure of the prosecution agency to lead credible evidence so as to bring the guilt home in every case would result in agonising disappointment and frustration among peaceloving citizens,” the high court said.

Last week, the court had formed a three-member team to re-look into the investigation done by Punjab Police in the Bhola drug case so far. The HC order came on 10 petitions, including that of Bhola’s father Balshinder Singh.

Court’s stand on petitions of accused

In most cases, the Supreme Court or high courts hand over investigations to an independent agency at the instance of victims, who were at the receiving end due to the callous approach of the probe agency, or when involvement of an influential person was causing an impediment to the fair investigation by police.

“Punjab has more than 150 IPS officers. Of these, at least 65 officers are of DGP, ADGP or IG-level. It would be too unfair to presume that none of these senior officers is above-board or that each one has succumbed to some hidden pressure,” the high court bench said on charges of frame-up against police.

On Bhola’s claims that his distinguished career as a sportsman was the root cause of his false implication, the high court said his defence plea is yet to be proved in a special court in Patiala. Responding to Bhola’s alleged associate Sarabjit Singh’s plea, the court said “he owes an explanation as to how he was enjoying plum postings till his name surfaced in the case.”

Regarding charges leveled by SAD leader Maninder alias Bittu Aulakh, who had alleged that political rivalry was behind the FIR against him, the high court stated that axe should have fallen on party leaders and not supporters.

Businessman brothers Jagjit Singh Chahal and Paramjit Singh Chahal, who had stated as despite their pharmaceutical units were located in Himachal Pradesh, Punjab Police could not have booked them. The court did not accept their arguments.

Bail for Bhola’s parents

A Punjab and Haryana high court bench on Tuesday granted pre-arrest bail to Jagdish Bhola’s father Balshinder Singh and mother Baltej Kaur in a money laundering case. The bail was granted by the division bench of justice Surya Kant and justice PB Bajanthri on the petition of the duo, wherein they had challenged their summoning by the special trial court, Patiala, in investigations initiated by the Enforcement Directorate.

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