The Punjab and Haryana high court on Friday directed Congress MLA OP Soni to produce list of witnesses in a petition he had filed challenging Navjot Singh Sidhu’s 2009 Lok Sabha election from the Amritsar parliamentary segment on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ticket, on May 19.
The direction was passed by the high court bench of justice Surya Kant on the resumed hearing of election petition filed by Soni, who had contested against Sidhu and had challenged the election in 2009.
On the last date of hearing in February, the court had fined Soni with Rs 25,000 for failing to submit a list of witnesses. The order to supply the same was passed in March 2016, but Soni’s lawyer had been seeking time on various grounds.
During the hearing on Friday, senior advocate and BJP leader Satya Pal Jain, who appeared for Sidhu, now the local bodies’ minister in the Captain Amarinder Singh government, had argued that the witnesses’ examination should commence with Soni. On the other hand, Soni’s counsel submitted that he would submit list of witnesses on the adjourned date.
Among other accusations, Soni had alleged that Sidhu had got 11 officials of his choice, including deputy commissioner-cum-returning officer, transferred or posted in Amritsar.
Earlier, Soni had agreed in the Supreme Court to withdraw the petition after Sidhu had moved the apex court against a high court order in 2011. Hence, the petition filed there was withdrawn. But later, he retracted in the high court and said he wanted to pursue the case.