HC dismisses bail pleas of 2 cops facing arrest in Moga drugs seizure case
The Punjab and Haryana high court has dismissed bail pleas of two Moga policemen, facing arrest for non-appearance as prosecution witnesses, in a 2016 drugs seizure case. The HC bench of justice Rajbir Sehrawat said that in the case in hand it is the prosecution and its witnesses, who had virtually blocked the proceedings of the trial.
The bench added, “.. caring in the least, for the liberty of the accused in the trial. It is only the nonproduction and non-appearance of the witness of the prosecution, which had unduly prolonged the eclipse upon the liberty of the accused; in a totally unjustified manner.”
Two of the three cops — Kuldeep Singh and Sarwan Singh — had approached the HC after a Moga trial court issued arrest warrants against the third policeman, Kakka Ram, who could not appear in a hearing.
When the court was told that of 18 hearings, 16 had to be adjourned due to the non-appearance of cops and they did not appear even as bailable warrants were issued, the court ordered their arrest stating that they be kept in custody till the time the witness examination process was not complete.
On the pleas of cops, the HC said it is evident in the case that the right to life and liberty had been curtailed. “It is a duty cast upon the court to ensure course correction, so as to minimise the damage to such right,” it said, adding that the order on arrest was passed, so that all witnesses were available for examination.
The court also observed that under the provisions that bail had been sought are availed by the accused, and not the witnesses.
The petitioners had argued that one of them was never summoned and the second one was not served the notice. However, court found from the record that it was on 16 dates, that the policemen did not appear in court for witness examination, rather it were 20 dates when cops did not appear, the court said adding that the delay in the trial was not on the part of accused.
Court was told that of 18 hearings, 16 had to be adjourned due to non-appearance of cops; they did not appear even on issue of bailable warrants