Akali Dal president Sukhbir Badal surrenders in Chandigarh court in 2017 defamation case, gets bail
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president and former Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on Wednesday surrendered in a Chandigarh court in a defamation case that was filed against him in 2017.
He, however, was granted bail by the court.
Akhand Kirtani Jatha spokesperson Rajinder Pal Singh had moved the court, saying Sukhbir made defamatory remarks against him in 2017 by associating him with terrorist outfit Babbar Khalsa International.
Rajinder Pal Singh complained that Sukhbir had made the allegation against him a day after Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal visited his house on January 4, 2017. Sukhbir allegedly termed him and the Akhand Kirtani Jatha political fronts of the Babbar Khalsa International in rallies during his interactions with the media.
The complainant’s counsel, PIP Singh, had claimed that Sukhbir’s statement had “badly hit Rajinder’s image and that of his organisation worldwide”. The police were asked to probe the matter under Section 202 (whether a prima facie case is made out) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC). They submitted a report in the court in November 2019.
Earlier in the day, the court of additional chief judicial magistrate Tejpartap Singh Randhawa issued non-bailable warrants against Sukhbir, saying, “Bailable warrants issued against the accused were returned unexecuted citing ongoing construction work at the given address while he visited the residence off and on.”
“It is evident that the accused is very much aware about the proceeding pending in court. Moreover, he is not a layman being a former deputy chief minister of Punjab. As he is intentionally evading the process of the court, he be served non-bailable warrants for December 12,” the order read.
On this, Sukhbir’s counsel Munish Deewan apprised the judge that the case was also listed for hearing in the Punjab and Haryana High Court that stayed the non-bailable warrants giving the accused one week or 10-day time to appear in the trial court.
Then the magistrate directed “not to issue the non-bailable warrants” against the SAD president who later surrendered in the court.
“The offence is bailable in nature. The accused furnished bail bonds of Rs 20,000 with surety of the like amount,” the final order read.
The matter was listed for hearing on December 21.