Special HC bench headed by chief justice to hear Jagdish Bhola drug case
A special bench presided over by chief justice Krishna Murari will hear the court-initiated petition into Jagdish Bhola drug racket case. The second judge on the bench is justice AB Chaudhari. It was on August 31 that justice Arun Palli, had recused from hearing the case due to personal reasons. The special bench, with both the judges from outside courts, will take up the petition on Thursday.
In this case, the court is monitoring initiatives launched by Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh to fight drug menace. Most importantly, the investigation by the Punjab Police into criminal cases registered after the drug racket involving Jagdish Bhola, a sacked DSP, was unearthed.
The division bench will take up the opinion submitted by Punjab government’s two-member panel constituted to examine and suggest action on the special task force (STF) report on the alleged links between former revenue minister and Akali leader Bikram Singh Majithia and some drug traffickers.
The report, prepared by the STF headed by IPS officer HS Sidhu, was submitted in a sealed cover to the HC on February 1.
Being heard as part of this PIL, the court will also take up reports submitted by DGP (PSPCL) S Chattopadhyaya-led Special Investigation Team (SIT), carried out to ascertain the alleged complicity of former Moga SSP Raj Jit Singh with drug traffickers. On May 23, Chattopadhyaya had submitted two reports on the issue, one signed by all three members of the SIT, including ADGP Parbodh Kumar and IG Kunwar Vijay Partap Singh, and the other only signed by him.
Chattopadhyaya had also levelled allegations against his senior colleagues.
The petition was being heard by a bench presided over by justice Surya Kant, who has been hearing this petition since July 2015. The case was listed before the chief justice in July, after change of roster, effected by high court administration according to which all PILs were to be listed before the chief justice.