Home secy, DGP to examine STF report on Majithia’s ‘role’ in drug racket
Have three weeks to tell HC what action govt plans on findings.punjab Updated: Mar 31, 2018 09:32 IST
The Punjab government has appointed additional chief secretary (ACS), home, NS Kalsi and director general of police (DGP) Suresh Arora to examine and suggest action on the report of the police’s special task force (STF) on the alleged role of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader and former revenue minister Bikram Singh Majithia in drug trafficking, it is learnt.
The report, prepared by the STF headed by ADGP Harpreet Sidhu, was submitted in a sealed cover to the Punjab and Haryana high court on February 1, following which the court asked the government to prepare a report for next course of action. It must here be noted that Enforcement Directorate official Niranjan Singh too submitted in the court on November 28, 2017, that Majithia’s role needs to be probed.
On March 15, Punjab advocate general Atul Nanda told a special division bench of the high court presided over by justices Surya Kant and Shekher Dhawan that the STF report was examined by chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh, who also holds the home affairs portfolio; and that two senior officers were asked to examine it. But their names were not disclosed by Nanda on that date, citing that both were unwell.
“ACS, home, and the Punjab DGP have been asked to prepare a report on the STF findings,” a senior official from the home department told HT on Friday on the condition of anonymity, adding, “As per court orders, the two officers will get three weeks to apprise the court what action the government plans to take.”
However, the government is yet to appoint an investigation officer into the alleged leak of the STF report, which a section of the electronic media had access to. Local bodies minister Navjot Singh Sidhu too read bits of the report at a press meet on March 16. This probe was ordered by the CM on March 27 at a press conference in the Vidhan Sabha complex.
Minister Sidhu claimed before the media that the STF, in its report, mentioned that there is prima facie evidence against Majithia in the drug case.Inside the assembly, on March 27, Majithia asked how the sealed report was leaked. Majithia has repeatedly accused the STF chief and the minister of conspiring against him.
Majithia’s name surfaced in alleged confessions by accused in the case, including former police officer and national-level wrestler Jagdish Bhola, during the regime of the SAD-BJP alliance. It was a major poll issue too. The Congress regime after taking power in March last year formed the anti-drug STF and promised to spare no one involved.
First Published: Mar 31, 2018 09:24 IST