In a setback to Joginder Pal Jain, Akali candidate in the Moga assembly byelection, non-bailable arrest warrants were issued on Tuesday against his son, Puneet Jain.
Jain, former Congress legislator, switched over to the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), and set up the election to be held on February 23. Judicial magistrate (first class) Madan Lal issued the arrest warrants here against Puneet, cancelling his bail in a property-regulation case in which he had failed to appear before court.
On August 26, 2007, a case under the Punjab Apartment and Property Regulation Act of 1995 was registered at Mehna against the-then local legislator, Joginder Pal Jain; his wife, Swaran Lata Jain; sons, Puneet and Akshit Jain; and daughter, Rohini. They were charged with selling agriculture land for commercial and residential purpose in violation of the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) Act.
In October 2009, the police had filed the charge sheet in court at Moga. Jain had then pleaded before the Faridkot district and sessions judge to transfer the case outside Moga, claiming that his family was target of political vendetta.
The-then member of the legislative assembly (MLA) feared that in Moga, senior leaders of the ruling Akali party, especially former minister Tota Singh, could influence the case against him and his family. The charges were then framed in Faridkot.
Puneet Jain failed to appear in court during most hearings, and while the matter was pending, he secured bail and left the country on submitting a surety to come back. He did not return.
At the last hearing, the judge had ordered Puneet to be present in the court personally during the next hearing on Tuesday (February 5). Puneet, who is said to be in Canada, failed to make it to court.
He had been filing leave applications through his counsel. In another application filed on Tuesday, he claimed that he had been unable to get a ticket to fly home. The judge dismissed this request and told the police to produce him before court on March 4.