A Punjab and Haryana high court bench on Friday granted bail to former director, agriculture, Punjab, Mangal Singh Sandhu in the pesticide scam.
The direction came from the single-judge bench of justice Rajan Gupta on a petition moved by Sandhu on November 30.
The bench said in its order that in view of the contentions raised before the court, the period of incarceration of the petitioner and the fact that the trial was yet to commence, “no useful purpose will be served by detaining the petitioner in custody any longer”. The court further directed the judicial magistrate, Bathinda, to release him on regular bail.
The government had opposed the bail plea, stating that the allegations against Sandhu were serious, while the petitioner had submitted that the trial was yet to commence and he was behind bars since September 15.
Sandhu was booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (PIC) and under the Prevention of Corruption Act. He is accused of bribing officials of the agriculture department to store spurious pesticides and insecticides and sell the same to the public. The FIR was registered in Bathinda on September 2.
On September 28, based on Sandhu’s petition, a high court bench had stayed the September 17 order for his removal from the director’s post. The stay order was vacated on October 1.