Drugs case: This is a favour extended to me by government, Sukhpal Khaira to HC | punjab$regional-takes | Hindustan Times
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Drugs case: This is a favour extended to me by government, Sukhpal Khaira to HC

AAP leader tells court the case is ‘a favour extended to me by the government to silence me’.

punjab Updated: Nov 10, 2017 11:31 IST
HT Correspondent
Punjab leader of Opposition Sukhpal Khaira.
Punjab leader of Opposition Sukhpal Khaira. (HT File )

Leader of Opposition in state assembly Sukhpal Singh Khaira on Thursday told the Punjab and Haryana high court that the drug case against him was a ‘favour’ being extended to him by the present government to silence him.

After arguments from both the sides that continued for around two hours, the court of justice AB Chaudhary reserved the order on Khaira’s petition wherein he challenged the order of a Fazilka court summoning him in the drug case. He contended that he cannot be summoned since the trial has concluded in the 2015 case.

On March 4, 2015, nine accused in the case, who were arrested in Fazilka along with 2kg heroin, 24 gold biscuits, one country-made pistol and two Pakistani SIM cards, were convicted in the case.

“SIT (special investigation team) probed the matter for nearly two years. They did not find anything against me. Suddenly, in July 2017, this application on examination of three witnesses was filed, which resulted in the trial court summoning me,” his counsel, senior advocate RS Rai told the court.

The FIR in the case was registered in March 2015. On March 9, an SIT, headed by a deputy inspector general (DIG), was constituted. Khaira’s name had cropped up in the investigations during the examination of some accused. The trial court passed an order on October 31 summoning Khaira on November 30 and issued non-bailable warrants against him.

On March 4, 2015, nine accused in the case, who were arrested in Fazilka along with 2kg heroin, 24 gold biscuits, one country-made pistol and two Pakistani SIM cards, were convicted in the case.

“During the course of proceedings, a trial court can summon a person as an additional accused. However, not after the conclusion of trial. That power lies with the high court…in the case in hand those who had deposed against him had referred to evidence (call records and case diary etc), which was not even considered as evidence in the case before trial court,” Rai told the court.

He added that the call record referred to has not been authenticated from service providers, nor a letter was written for authentication. The government, on the other hand, came up with a relatively ‘weak’ response. It chose not to file a formal reply to the petition.

The government counsel said the order was passed by the trial court on the basis of evidence on record. At the time of presenting the challan against other accused, the prosecution had stated that it would file a supplementary challan at a later stage, if investigation warranted, the government counsel told the court.

The government further argued that the analysis of call record being referred to by Khaira was part of an affidavit submitted in the high court in one of Khaira’s own petitions. Khaira was in touch with some of the accused through mobile phone, it claimed.