Bagga case: HC seeks Delhi Police’s response on Punjab cops’ plea

On May 6, the Punjab Police had arrested Bagga from his Janakpuri residence but the city police had brought him back from Haryana, alleging that its Punjab counterpart had not informed it about the arrest.
BJP leader Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga
BJP leader Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga
Updated on May 25, 2022 04:05 AM IST
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New Delhi: The Delhi high court on Tuesday sought the city police’s response on Punjab police’s plea to quash an FIR against them for allegedly abducting BJP leader Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga from his residence earlier this month.

Justice Anu Malhotra issued notice to the city police, city government and Bagga on the plea filed by Manpreet Singh, SP Rural, SAS Nagar in Punjab. The court asked the respondents to file their replies within four weeks and listed the matter for further hearing on July 26.

The judge, however, did not issue a notice at this stage on another petition filed by the Punjab government seeking the quashing of two orders passed by a Delhi district court - for search and production of Bagga and his subsequent release from the custody of Punjab Police without giving it a hearing.

The court said that it needs to go through the entire record of the case before coming to any conclusion on whether to issue notice on the second petition and posted the matter for hearing on July 26.

Also read: High court bars BJP leader Tajinder Bagga’s arrest after midnight hearing

On May 6, the Punjab Police had arrested Bagga from his Janakpuri residence but the city police had brought him back from Haryana, alleging that its Punjab counterpart had not informed it about the arrest.

Following his arrest by the Punjab Police in a case relating to allegedly making provocative statements, promoting enmity, and making criminal intimidation, the Delhi Police registered an FIR of abduction against Punjab Police personnel on May 6 late at night.

Punjab Police, in its plea, claimed that when they reached Janakpuri Police Station on May 6 to inform it about Bagga’s arrest, the Delhi police refused to cooperate with it and illegally detained them.

It further said the Delhi police lodged a false and fabricated FIR against them sections 452 (house-trespass after preparation for hurt, assault, or wrongful restraint), 392 (robbery), 342 (wrongful confinement), 365 (kidnapping), 295A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

It added that the city police obtained a search warrant by concealing the relevant and material facts of the lawful arrest of Bagga, after which Punjab Police officials were detained by Haryana Police and deprived of the lawful custody of the accused.

Also read: The gap between norms and actions in Tajinder Bagga arrest

Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, representing the Punjab government, said he was only seeking issuance of notice on the petition at this stage and contended that the magistrate had passed the order for the release of Bagga without hearing Punjab Police despite the officials standing outside his residence and natural justice was disregarded.

Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain, appearing for Delhi Police, contended that the Punjab police’s petition was not maintainable as the commissioner of police was not made a party to the petition even when serious allegations have been made against the force.

“What is the locus of Punjab Police to file this petition? It was not made an accused in the FIR (for abduction).” he argued.

Senior advocate Kirti Uppal, appearing for Bagga, contended that the Punjab police came here to arrest the BJP leader as if he was some terrorist who was going to run away.

The court, after hearing the parties, said the commissioner of Delhi police be impleaded as a separate party in the petition.

The Punjab Police, in its petition, said the FIR and the order of search warrants and order of release of the said accused, dated May 6, 2022, passed by the link duty MM, Dwarka, Delhi are liable to be set aside under section 482 of CrPC under the jurisdiction of this court along with all judicial/ executive proceedings emanating from the FIR which are an abuse of process of law and non-est in the eyes of law.

Also read: AAP, BJP lock horns over Tajinder Bagga’s arrest

On April 1, the Punjab Police booked Bagga for alleged offences of making provocative statements, promoting enmity, and criminal intimidation. The case was registered on a complaint of AAP leader Sunny Ahluwalia, a resident of Mohali. The FIR referred to Bagga’s remarks on March 30, when he was part of a BJP youth wing protest outside the residence of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

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