Bhola drug racket: Punjab and Haryana HC asks STF to list steps taken to check drug menace
Chandigarh The Punjab and Haryana high court has asked a Special Task Force (STF) on drugs that ADGP Harpreet Singh Sidhu heads to list out steps taken to check drug menace in the state. “How to get rid of the drug menace...this is a larger issue,” observed the division bench, comprising justice Rajiv Sharma and justice Ajay Tiwari, hearing the matter of the STF’s submission of a report in sealed cover on the alleged involvement of former revenue minister in the previous Akali-BJP government Bikram Singh Majithia with drug traffickers. The court deferred the hearing to March 20, when it is likely to open reports that various agencies have submitted, including the STF, the SIT and the BSF in sealed cover.
“The reports in sealed covers would be opened in court, examined and action will be taken,” said the division bench, adding that the ‘matter loses efficacy...it has been pending for too long’. STF head Sidhu had submitted the final report in February 2018 in a sealed cover, though it is not clear what the report says about Majithia.
Implead SAD leader Majithia as party: Gupta
During arguments, senior advocate Anupam Gupta who represents enforcement directorate assistant director Niranjan Singh, the investigating officer in the multi-crore Bhola drug racket, urged the court to implead Majithia as a party. Gupta’s submission was in response to the bench’s query on whether the persons against whom the reports are submitted are impleaded as party or not.
The high court had sought a report on November 28, 2017, after Niranjan Singh, who had submitted a dossier on the role of Majithia, had said his role needed to be probed. In 2015, Majithia was summoned by the ED twice in connection with the money-laundering investigation related to the Jagdish Bhola drug racket. On statements of sacked DSP Jagdish Bhola, businessman Jagjit Singh Chahal and SAD leader Maninder Singh Aulakh, in 2014 and 2015, the ED found “complicity of Majithia in drug trade”.
In addition, DGP (human resources development) S Chattopadhyaya had also submitted a report in a sealed cover on the alleged nexus of Moga SSP Raj Jit Singh Hundal with a Punjab police inspector Inderjit Singh, an accused in a drug haul case. The high court had sought the report on December 15, 2017, after Hundal approached the court alleging ‘implication’ at the hands of STF chief Sidhu.