Supreme Court reserves order on Saini’s bail plea - ECAS Punjab

Supreme Court reserves order on Saini’s bail plea

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Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 17

The Supreme Court today reserved its order on former Punjab DGP Sumedh Singh Saini's petition seeking anticipatory bail in the 1991 Balwant Singh Multani murder case.

After hearing arguments from senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi for Saini and senior advocate Siddharth Luthra, representing the Punjab Government, a Bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan said it would pass a reasoned order.

The Punjab Government opposed Saini's plea. Granting anticipatory bail to the accused at this stage would hamper the probe, Luthra argued even as the Bench questioned the need for custody of the accused after 30 years of the crime.

Questioning addition of murder charge against Saini, the Bench observed it was prima facie inclined to grant anticipatory bail.

The SC had on September 15 granted interim protection from arrest to Saini and posted his anticipatory bail plea for hearing after four weeks.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court had on September 7 dismissed his anticipatory bail plea.

"This case is of 1991. After 30 years what is the hurry to arrest him... We will grant you time to file a reply," the Bench had said, adding he will not be arrested till further orders. However, the top court had asked Saini to cooperate with the Punjab Police in the investigation of the case. Multani, a junior engineer with the Chandigarh Industrial amp; Tourism Development Corporation Limited, was allegedly picked up by the police in December 1991 after a terror attack on Saini that left three policemen dead. Saini was injured in the attack.

Saini's troubles started in May when he was booked at a Mohali police station along with six others for the alleged kidnapping of Multani in 1991. Murder charge was added in August after two of the accused policemen spilled the beans.

Rohatgi had earlier contended the Punjab Government was after Saini because he had filed two chargesheets in which current Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh was an accused. "This is why they are after me," he had submitted.

In a separate petition, Saini has also challenged an HC order dismissing his plea for quashing of the FIR in the case. He is also facing trial in a special CBI court in Delhi along with three others for alleged abduction and disappearance of automobile businessman Vinod Kumar, his brother-in-law Ashok Kumar and their driver Mukhtiyar Singh in 1994.


Bench questions need for custody

  • Punjab's counsel contended granting anticipatory bail to former police chief Sumedh Singh Saini at this stage would hamper probe
  • The Bench, however, questioned the need for custody of the accused after 30 years of the crime
  • On Sept 15, the SC had granted interim protection from arrest to Saini and posted his plea for hearing after four weeks
  • The Punjab and Haryana High Court had on September 7 dismissed his anticipatory bail plea


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