Suspended assistant superintendent of Kapurthala jail, Karamjit Singh Bhullar, who is on the run, got a huge relief when the Punjab and Haryana high court issued stay orders on his arrest.
Hearing the petition filed by Bhullar through his counsel, justice MMS Bedi also issued the notice to the state government for September 22.
Additional advocate general Jashanpreet Singh received notice in the court on the behalf of the government.
The petitioner's counsel had submitted that his client has been named in the case due to the vindictiveness of senior police officials.
The court has also ordered that the witnesses' statements be recorded and other material available against Bhullar should be made available on the next date of hearing.
The stay is being seen as a jolt to the Kapurthala police which had issued a lookout notice for Bhullar recently.
On August 1, Bhullar was booked under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, Prevention of Corruption Act, and sections 384 (extortion) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC, at the Kotwali police station, Kapurthala.
The case was registered against him following an inquiry conducted by DIG (prisons) LS Jakhar, who said Bhullar not only indulged in corruption but also sold drugs in the jail.
The inquiry was initiated against Bhullar on the basis of a peddler's input, after which Kapurthala SSP Ashish Chaudhary sent a report to additional director general of police (prisons) RP Meena, who assigned the inquiry to Jakhar.
On August 8 Bhullar's wife Gurjeet Bhullar had claimed that her husband was innocent and all the allegations of drug smuggling and torturing inmates were fabricated by senior prison officials in Chandigarh after he exposed the Rs 97-crore 'Metro Scam'.
"The jail authorities were purchasing goods for canteens for all jails in Punjab from the Metro Company illegally without following any tendering process and have been earning huge commissions," she had claimed.