The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Wednesday rejected the blanket bail plea of Bharat Inder Singh Chahal, media adviser to former Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh.
A Bench comprising Justice P Sathasivam and Justice Rajive Bhalla also declined Chahal’s plea for handing over the investigations of a case against him to the Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI).
Chahal who is in judicial remand for an attempt to murder and a land grab case and is also facing inquiry in the Ludhiana city centre case had moved the anticipatory bail plea, while alleging malafide and political vendetta and prayed that a week's prior notice be given to him in case he was to be arrested in any other case.
The Bench in the detailed order today observed that Chahal has not been able to establish a strong case for the issuance of seven-day advance notice to him before his arrest in any case. The Court also declined his plea for quashing the orders directing the seizure of his bank accounts and lockers.
Regarding Chahal’s prayer against torture and harassment, the Bench asked the investigating agencies not to indulge in any such activity during his interrogation or during his custody while directing the agency to strictly follow and implement the directions of the Supreme Court in DK Basu versus State of West Bengal. Failing compliance, the petitioner is free to point out the same then and there before the appropriate authority/forum, the Bench said.
Dealing with the torture issue, the Judges ruled: "It is relevant to point out that even in the first two cases, when the petitioner was remanded to police custody, the particulars furnished show that he had not raised any objection or made complaint about harassment or torture at the hands of the state police / vigilance bureau, though he has raised such allegations in the writ petition".
In their detailed order the Judges held, "We are of the view that the petitioner has not made out a strong and prima facie case for entrusting the investigations to the CBI at this juncture. We make it clear that at the appropriate stage the petitioner is free to raise this point before the concerned court, if he is able to satisfy the same by placing acceptable material.’’
With regard to relief pertaining to the quashing of the seizure of bank account/lockers, the Judges observed that the Code of Criminal Procedure was comprehensive and encompassed all possible remedies for violation of any provision enshrined therein.
"In such a case, it is not possible for this court to interfere at this stage, that too in a writ petition. And, if the petitioner is able to substantiate that the seizure of bank account is not tenable, he may take recourse to the statutory remedy before the appropriate authority, the bench observed.
Writing the order for the bench Justice P Sathasivam said "We are satisfied with the available material that the petitioner has not made out strong and special circumstances at this stage for directions to the State of Punjab/Vigilance Bureau for advance notice before effecting his arrest in any case. The petitioner is free to raise all available objections before the court concerned when he moves application(s) for anticipatory bail(s).
The request of the petitioner for quashing the order of remand dated June 10 passed by Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate /Duty Magistrate is rejected, was rejected the bench summed up.