Bhola drug racket: HC tells STF to probe Akali leader Bikram Majithia’s role
ED deputy director, Niranjan Singh, told the court that Majithia’s role needs to be probed on the basis of his investigations.Updated: Nov 28, 2017 23:02 IST
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
The Punjab and Haryana high court on Tuesday asked the special task force (STF) constituted by the Punjab government to file a status report on the allegations against former cabinet minister Bikram Singh Majithia about his alleged involvement with drug traffickers.
The high court also asked the STF to take into account a note given to the court by Enforcement Directorate deputy director Niranjan Singh on the role of the former minister. The special division bench, set up to look into drug menace in the state and headed by justice Surya Kant, also clarified that there was no restraint order from the high court for further probe in any matter by the ED.
The order was passed after Niranjan Singh told the court that Majithia’s role needs to be probed.
“….On the basis of note prepared by Niranjan Singh, (it appears that) Majithia is not innocent. His role needs to be probed,” senior advocate Anupam Gupta, who appeared on behalf of Niranjan, told the high court. He also said that Majithia needs to be summoned again by ED. Niranjan Singh was present in court when the statements were made.
The note was sought by the high court in 2015, asking Niranjan to give details of the prima-facie evidence the ED had to summon the minister into money laundering investigation related to the Jagdish Bhola drug racket. Majithia was summoned by ED twice in 2015.
The allegations on Majithia’s alleged involvement were put up before the court recently by an NGO, Lawyers for Human Rights International, asking court to seek response from ED and STF on probe so far against Majithia.
Niranjan also brought role of ED under scanner before court as Gupta told court that in institutions like ED bosses’ nod is necessary in investigation of cases such as this. Gupta was responding to Navkiran Singh ’s submissions who was questioning ED’s probe into this matter. Navkiran Singh is representing Lawyers for Human Rights International.
The role of Punjab government STF, headed HS Sidhu also came under scanner as Niranjan Singh told high court that two letters—one in August and second letter in September 2017 were written to STF head seeking details on probe by against drug traffickers. But they have not responded. The court directed the STF to hold a meeting with ED on the issue within two weeks.
First Published: Nov 28, 2017 18:21 IST