Look into discharge of 4 accused: HC to DGP - ECAS Punjab

Look into discharge of 4 accused: HC to DGP

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Saurabh Malik

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 30

In an astounding move, the State of Punjab is seeking the discharge of four persons accused of "smuggling huge quantities of heroin on the India-Pakistan border" despite inquiries indicating their alleged involvement in the matter.

Taking cognisance of the disparity in the stands of the investigating officer and senior police officers on the issue, Justice Deepak Sibal of the Punjab and Haryana High Court has asked the Director General of Police to look into matter before filing his own affidavit

"The matter pertains to allegations with regard to smuggling of huge quantities of heroin on the India-Pakistan border in which the state is seeking discharge of four of the five accused. The Inspector General of Police concerned and the SSP have already conducted inquiries and their reports are at variance with the stand of the investigating officer," Justice Sibal asserted.

The matter was brought to the High Court's notice after Manga Singh, Surjit Singh and Tarsem Singh filed petitions seeking regular bail. One of the counsels, during the course of hearing, produced before Justice Sibal's Bench an order dated November 6 passed by the Amritsar Additional Sessions Judge, through which default bail was granted to the accused. The order further recorded that the investigating officer stated before the trial court that he had recommended the petitioner's discharge as he did not find evidence against him. As such, the petition had been rendered infructuous and may be disposed of.

Justice Sibal, however, observed the SSP Amritsar (Rural) filed an affidavit on a petition for anticipatory bail moved by another accused Mandeep Singh. Among other things, it stated that Tarsem Singh, Surjit Singh and Manga Singh, at the behest of Mandeep Singh, were found to be indulging in "smuggling of huge quantities of heroin on the India-Pakistan border".

Justice Sibal added the counsel for the petitioners in the regular bail petitions of Tarsem Singh, Manga Singh and Surjit Singh produced an order of the trial court. It revealed that the investigating officer had filed an application before the trial court seeking their discharge. "The above stands are contradictory and cannot be reconciled," Justice Sibal said.



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