Give week’s notice before arrest: High court tells Punjab on plea of ex-DGP Saini
The Punjab and Haryana high court on Wednesday directed the Punjab government to issue a notice of seven days to former director general of police (DGP) Sumedh Singh Saini if the state contemplates to arrest him in a criminal case.
The order was passed by the bench of justice Arun Kumar Tyagi on a fresh application moved by Saini in a 2018 petition. “The earlier order has been modified to the extent that if he is to be arrested in any case registered for the time period of his service, he should be given seven days’ notice,” said senior advocate Vinod Ghai, who appeared for Saini.
In his fresh plea, Saini demanded that the interim order passed in October 2018 be extended to his entire service record as the state’s agencies are “hell bent on implicating” him. If he appears before the police in the 1991 Balwant Singh Multani disappearance case, there is apprehension that he will be arrested in some other case, Ghai told the court.
In October 2018, the high court had denied him blanket bail but asked Punjab to give one week’s notice to Saini, in case he is to be arrested in a criminal case pertaining to when he served in the vigilance department and other important positions in the state. The order was extended twice but after the Covid-19 outbreak, the plea could not be taken up.
Wednesday’s order covers any FIR registered by the police against Saini for any ‘crime’ committed by him during his entire service period.
In the October 2018 petition, Saini demanded that directions be given to the state to get the probe done by the Central Bureau of Investigation in the event of any FIR against him since he fears false implication due to “mala fide and ulterior motives” on the part of the political party in power in Punjab.
He also demanded that he should not be arrested in any criminal case.
During his stint as head of the state vigilance, a number of criminal cases were registered against present chief minister Amarinder Singh, his family members and other political leaders for corruption. He had given example of FIRs in the Ludhiana City Centre scam, Amritsar Improvement Trust scam and one against Bharat Inder Singh Chahal, media adviser of the chief minister, and Amarinder’s son Raninder Singh. He told the court that now he is seen as the man who launched criminal prosecution against the present chief minister and his coterie and the state’s agencies have become “persecuting agencies” instead of “prosecuting agencies” for his false implication. He had also expressed fear of implication in the 2015 sacrilege cases.