2015 SACRILEGE CASES: CBI puts Punjab govt on notice, asks it to file reply by July 20
The CBI judge observed that in a single criminal incident, investigations are being conducted by two agencies which is not permissible under the lawUpdated: Jul 10, 2020 23:31 IST
Acting on an appeal filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for restraining the special investigating team (SIT) constituted by the state government for investigating the Behbal Kalan and Bargari sacrilege cases of 2015, the special CBI judge, Gurkirpal Singh Sekhon, on Friday put state on notice and asked it to file a reply by July 20, the next date of hearing.
On July 8, the CBI moved a Mohali court urging it to stop DIG Ranbir Singh Khatra-led special investigation team from carrying out “parallel probe” in sacrilege cases. The move came two days after the SIT named named Sirsa dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh as an accused in the 2015 theft of a ‘bir’ (copy) of Guru Granth Sahib.
The CBI plea claimed that the agency is still conducting probe in these cases and there can’t be two simultaneous investigations by two agencies in same cases.
The judge observed that “in a single criminal incident, investigations are being conducted by two agencies i.e. by the CBI and the Punjab Police SIT, which is not permissible under the statutory provisions of law”.
After hearing the arguments, the CBI judge directed the central probe agency to supply the copies of special leave petition (SLP) and review petition filed in the Supreme Court to the counsels for state as well as accused and complainants.
The reply filed by advocate R K Handa, who appeared on Friday itself and has filed the power of attorney on the behalf of the accused, namely Sukhjinder Singh and SS Kler, and Gagan Pardeep Singh Bal, the counsels for the complainants made similar requests to the court for adjournment for filing the reply to the application filed by the CBI seeking stay on probe being conducted by SIT.
The court observed that ‘the counsels for the accused have strongly pressed upon for passing any interim order in the favour of the CBI, accused by restraining the SIT to proceed further in the further investigation, which is to be conducted by them in these cases.
Gagan Pardeep Singh Bal, counsel for the complainants, argued that about five years had already passed but due to the internal fight between the CBI and the Punjab Police/State of Punjab, no relief has been granted to the complainant party till date and has strongly prayed to expedite the proceedings of these closure reports.
The court ordered that all the parties, who have not filed the reply to the application filed by the CBI, will file the replies in this Court on July 18.