The Punjab and Haryana high court on Tuesday directed ministry of home affairs (MHA) to file a status report regarding recommendations of the Border Security Force (BSF) to seal the international border with Pakistan to thwart attempts of smuggling.
The order came during the resumed hearing of a suo motu petition in which the high court is monitoring steps taken by Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh to fight drug menace.
It was in May 2016 that the Centre had told the court that it proposed to spend over Rs 3,000 crore on creating border infrastructure in Punjab and Rajasthan to stop smuggling of drugs and infiltration from Pakistan. It included construction of 1,426 km of lateral and 752 km of axial roads in Punjab and Rajasthan at an estimated cost of Rs 2,990 crore while another Rs 303 crore on upgrade of border floodlights in Punjab, the Centre had told.
TWO ED OFFICIALS TO REPLACE NIRANJAN SINGH
The high court also allowed the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to replace Niranjan Singh, who has been recently promoted as deputy director to be replaced as investigating officer of Bhola drug racket and money laundering cases being probed by the ED.
Earlier, the ED told the court that following promotion, he was now in supervisory role and can’t do both investigation and supervision as per rules. Later, the high court said that investigation would be carried out in active supervision of Niranjan Singh and further he won’t be transferred out of Punjab or Chandigarh. The transfer of Niranjan Singh had hit headlines in January 2016 as it came barely months after he summoned then Punjab cabinet minister Bikram Singh Majithia.
Meanwhile, the Narcotics Control Bureau said that in order to strengthen its team in the region, it had decided to recruit 30 officials at different level in its Chandigarh zonal office and 10 officials at the sub-zone office in Amritsar.
HC SEEKS COMPREHENSIVE PLAN ON DE-ADDICTION CENTRES
The high court bench of justice Surya Kant and justice Sudip Ahluwalia also sought a comprehensive plan on improving functioning of de-addiction centres, rehabilitation centres from Punjab and Haryana and also asked Punjab to check as to why addicts are lined up for admission to private centres, whereas there is no similar enthusiasm for government run centres.
It also asked as to why the Red Cross can’t be roped in for setting up such centres. The high court also asked Punjab and Haryana to check whether the medicine shops are being run themselves by those who secure licenses from state authorities or others, besides checking as to whether all those running such shops had valid licenses. A status report has been sought by July.
Both the states have also been directed to inform the court whether training programmes are in place to impart knowledge about drugs to cops investigating drugs cases. Earlier, Punjab told the court that it was working on integration of drug-de-addiction centres and rehabilitation centres.