HC stays non-bailable warrants against Khaira
Khaira had moved the HC, challenging his summoning in a drug case by a Fazilka court.punjab Updated: Nov 07, 2017 11:22 IST
The Punjab and Haryana high court on Monday stayed non-bailable warrants (NBW) issued by a Fazilka court to Sukhpal Singh Khaira, leader of Opposition in state assembly and AAP MLA, in a drug smuggling case.
The order was passed by the high court bench of justice AB Chaudhary on Khaira’s petition challenging NBW orders, besides his summoning as an additional accused by the trial court.
Though a detailed order is awaited, justice Chaudhary said the NBW orders are stayed till the next date of hearing on November 9 and asked the Punjab to respond on the issues raised by Khaira.
Khaira’s name had come up in the case after the arrest of nine smugglers by the police in Fazilka on March 9, 2015, along with 2-kg heroin, 24 gold biscuits, one country-made pistol and two Pakistani SIM cards. According to the prosecution, Khaira’s name had cropped up during the interrogation of these smugglers. On October 31, a Fazilka court sentenced them to imprisonment, ranging from three to 20 years, for trans-border heroin smuggling. The court had summoned Khaira on November 30.
Khaira’s counsel Randeep Rai had termed the case a “classical instance of political vendetta” to “tarnish Khaira’s reputation.”
“Being a crusader against drug mafia, mining mafia and corruption, systematic attempts have been made from time to time in this very case to drag the name of the petitioner with a view to silent him,” Khaira had said.
He stated that to harass him, police officials have been “compelled” to testify against him, that too in a case in which court has pronounced judgment.
Khaira was summoned by a trial court on the statements made by three witnesses, all police officials. The application for summoning was filed by the state. Initially, two of the witnesses had not testified against Khaira.