Ex-DSP Jagdish Bhola sentenced to 24-year jail in multi-crore drug case
Former international wrestler and sacked deputy superintendent of police (DSP) Jagdish Singh Bhola was on Wednesday convicted and sentenced by a special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in Mohali in a multi-crore drug racket, busted by Punjab Police in 2013.
Bhola was sentenced to 24 years in jail (12, 10 and 2 years in three cases). “The sentence will run as per Section 427 of the CrPC,” said district attorney Sanjeev Batra.
As per Section 427 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, when a person undergoing imprisonment is sentenced on a subsequent conviction, his imprisonment shall commence at the expiration of the jail term to which he has been previously sentenced.
However, a defence counsel, Harish Ahuja, claimed that the sentences will run concurrently.
The court also imposed a fine of Rs 2.2 lakh on the former DSP. “Bhola was convicted in three cases while acquitted in three other cases,” said special public prosecutors KS Bajwa and HS Rakkar.
Besides Bhola, CBI special judge Nirbhow Singh Gill convicted 21 other accused, including NRIs Anoop Khalon, Sukhjit Singh Sukha, Kulwinder Rocky, Kuldeep Singh, Sandeep Singh, Satinder Dhama, Bhola’s driver Davinder Singh Happy, Vsawa Singh, Amritsar-based hotelier Dev Raj Behal, New Delhi-based businessman Rakesh Sadhu, industrialists Jagjit Singh Chahal, Gurjeet Gabba, his manager Suresh Kumar, Davinder Kant, Manpreet, Gabbar Singh, Kulbir Singh, Harpreet Singh, Baljinder Singh, Sachin Sandhu and Kulvir, in seven FIRs registered under NDPS Act in March 2013.
Dhama, an MBA graduate, who acted as a mediator in international drug deals, has been sentenced to 25 years in jail in two cases, said the district attorney.
Bhola, an Arjuna awardee, was dismissed from Punjab Police in 2012. He was arrested in November 2013 in connection with the Rs 700-crore drug racket.
He was a key figure in the drug network, which was diverting chemicals meant for medicinal purposes to illegal factories in Himachal Pradesh’s Baddi that manufactured synthetic drugs and was supplying them to the international market.
In 2013, Punjab Police busted the drug racket and recovered synthetic drugs, including heroin, methamphetamine, pseudoephedrine, ephedrine, opium, intoxicating powder, monoethylmine, phenoxylate, hydrochloride and Rs 1.91 crore, besides some foreign currency, arms and luxury cars from the accused.
The court, however, acquitted former Akali leader Maninder Singh Bittu Aulakh, who used manage election funds of Akali MP Rattan Singh Ajnala, and international boxer Ram Singh, who was dismissed as head constable from the Punjab Police.