Punjab drugs case: HC extends interim protection from arrest to Majithia till Jan 24

After remaining underground for nearly 20 days, Akali leader and former Punjab minister surfaced in Mohali on January 12 after the high court gave him interim protection and asked him to join investigation
Shiromani Akali Dal leader and former Punjab minister Bikram Singh Majithia in Amritsar last week. He has been directed not to leave the country and provide his mobile number to the special investigation team probing the drugs case against him. (Sameer Sehgal/HT)
Shiromani Akali Dal leader and former Punjab minister Bikram Singh Majithia in Amritsar last week. He has been directed not to leave the country and provide his mobile number to the special investigation team probing the drugs case against him. (Sameer Sehgal/HT)
Published on Jan 18, 2022 01:47 PM IST
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The Punjab and Haryana high court on Tuesday extended interim protection from arrest to Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader and former Punjab minister Bikram Singh Majithia till January 24 in the drugs case registered against him by Punjab Police in Mohali on December 20.

Also read: Punjab election: AAP announces Bhagwant Mann as its chief ministerial candidate

The order was passed during resumed hearing of his anticipatory bail plea by the bench of justice Lisa Gill, one of his counsel, Arshdeep Singh Cheema, said.

On January 10, the high court had asked Majithia to join the probe on January 12 and also directed the police not to arrest him.

After remaining underground for nearly 20 days, Majithia surfaced a day after the high court gave him interim protection. He appeared before the special investigation team (SIT) in Mohali.

Majithia was booked under Sections 25 (punishment for allowing premises), 27 (A) (whoever is financing any activities pertaining to narcotic drugs) and 29 (party to a criminal conspiracy to commit an offence) of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act on December 20.

On December 24, a Mohali court dismissed his anticipatory bail plea.

In the high court, Majithia roped in Supreme Court lawyer Mukul Rohtagi and senior advocate RS Cheema. Former Union minister P Chidambaram is leading the team of lawyers for Punjab Police.

In his plea, Majithia termed the FIR an “election stunt” and alleged that the Charanjit Singh Channi-led Congress government had changed three Punjab Police chiefs in three months to get this FIR registered. The plea also accused Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu of indulging in “unwarranted propaganda” and deputy chief minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa of demonstrating “intense hatred” towards Majithia.

Punjab Police, in its response, had said that the government machinery was used for the benefit of drug cartels during the Akali regime in the state. Majithia was a key minister in the Akali government and it was during the Shiromani Akali Dal’s term that the cartel was unearthed, the police submitted, seeking his custody. The SIT also said incriminating material had come on record against Majithia.

While giving interim protection to Majithia, the high court on January 10 directed that he will not leave the country and provide his mobile number to the SIT. He was also been asked to share with the SIT his live location through WhatsApp. The court directed him to appear before the SIT as and when required.

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Wednesday, June 29, 2022