Drugs case: SC quashes summoning order against Sukhpal Khaira - Hindustan Times
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Drugs case: SC quashes summoning order against Sukhpal Khaira

By, Chandigarh
Feb 16, 2023 10:44 PM IST

The Supreme Court has quashed summoning order against Congress leader, Sukhpal Khaira, by a Fazilka court in a 2015 drugs seizure case.

The Supreme Court has quashed summoning order against Congress leader, Sukhpal Khaira, by a Fazilka court in a 2015 drugs seizure case.

After proceedings in HC where he failed to get a relief, the matter had reached Supreme Court and in view of a law point, the matter was referred by a division bench to a constitution bench. (HT File photo)
After proceedings in HC where he failed to get a relief, the matter had reached Supreme Court and in view of a law point, the matter was referred by a division bench to a constitution bench. (HT File photo)

The apex court bench of justice BR Gavai and justice Vikram Nath acted on the plea from Khaira. Khaira had challenged summoning order, stating that he could not have been summoned since trial had concluded in the case.

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The FIR was registered in March 2015. In an SIT probe, Khaira’s name had allegedly cropped up in the investigation during the examination of some accused persons. Nine persons were convicted on October 31, 2017, who were arrested by the police. In the same order, the trial court summoned Khaira for November 30, 2017 as an additional accused.

The police had recovered 2-kg heroin, 24 gold biscuits, one country-made pistol and two Pakistani SIM cards from the accused persons, who were convicted.

After proceedings in high court where he failed to get a relief, the matter had reached Supreme Court and in view of a law point, the matter was referred by a division bench to a constitution bench.

In December 2022, the constitution bench held that once the trial court passed an order on sentence, the Court become “functus officio” (whose mandate has expired) and further said that it was not within its jurisdiction to pass an order under Section 319 CrPC (summoning of additional accused). However, it had laid down some guidelines to deal with such cases in future. Now, in view of Constitution bench order, summoning order has been quashed.

“Indisputably, in the present case, the orders under Section 319 CrPC has been passed after the accused, who were facing trial, were convicted and sentenced,” the bench recorded quashing the summoning order against Khaira.

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