NDPS case against Moga SSP: High court mulls transferring it from STF
Verbal orders were passed on the petition of the SSP, who had alleged false “implication” at the hands of the STF head, HS Sidhu.punjab Updated: Dec 15, 2017 10:04 IST
The Punjab and Haryana high court on Thursday sought a panel of senior officers not below the rank of additional director general of police (ADGP) from Punjab government to probe a drug case involving Moga SSP Raj Jit Singh Hundal. A Punjab government special task force on drugs headed by HS Sidhu is already investigating the case.
The verbal orders were passed on the petition of the SSP, who had alleged his “implication” at the hands of Sidhu. Sidhu was handpicked by Captain Amarinder Singh as STF head soon after coming to power. The names of senior officers are to be submitted on Friday morning.
During Thursday’s hearing, the government had said that Sidhu is an officer with a “sterling” track record. “The state has full faith in him… justice should not only be done. But seen to have been done. The allegations must be probed,” state’s advocate general Atul Nanda told the high court bench of justice Surya Kant and justice Sudhir Mittal. The high court was hearing a plea of SSP Moga seeking probe of the FIR by an independent agency.
Earlier, senior advocate Anupam Gupta, who had brought the matter of the alleged closeness of the SSP and an inspector level official, the main accused in the case, told the court that the fresh row (allegations against Sidhu) could be the result of tug of war being played out between police officers — Sidhu and DGP, Suresh Arora.
He argued that before making submissions whether the plea be entertained, he would have to make his own inquiries.
At one point, the court also suggested whether the allegations could be probed by the earlier SIT, constituted during the time of the Akali government — of three officers of the inspector general of police rank, including Ishwar Singh, G Nageshwar Rao and V Neerja.
Nanda too suggested that he can submit names of officers in a sealed cover before the court. But, the court asked him to share names with those associated in case including Gupta.
It was on November 28 that high court sought a report from the STF on its probe so far on the nexus between officers and drug traffickers.
Gupta had brought reports of closeness between the main accused, inspector Inderjit Singh and the SSP.
Earlier, appearing for the SSP, senior advocate Puneet Bali had submitted that June 12, 2017, FIR in which the inspector and a retired DSP Jaswant Singh were arrayed as accused in drug seizure and an Arms Act case be probed by an officer other than Sidhu.
“Reports clearly indicate that it is public knowledge that the STF chief has some axe to grind against the SSP,” Bali said adding that merely because the SSP was a supervisory officer of the accused people, does not prove his complicity.
Inderjit Singh worked for 14 months only from June 2013 to September 2014 with the SSP when he was posted in Hoshiarpur and Tarn Taran. But, Hundal has been an SSP since June 2012 and was posted at eight different stations not remotely connected with the accused, the court was told.
Jaswant was “allured” by the STF to give a statement against the SSP before a magistrate and the STF was trying to “fabricate” evidence against him, the SSP told the court adding that when he got to know about the intention of the STF he made a representation to the government, following which the matter was referred to the DGP, who recommended an independent probe.
“The STF is still continuing with the probe,” he added.