BY : AKSHYA GURNANI
The three judge bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy and MR Shah also issued notice returnable by three weeks in the anticipatory bail plea filed by Saini, who is an accused in the 1991 murder case.
The Supreme Court today granted former Punjab Director General of Police (DGP) Sumedh Singh Saini interim protection from arrest in relation to the Balwant Singh Multani murder case. The three judge bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy and MR Shah also issued notice returnable by three weeks in the anticipatory bail plea filed by Saini, who is an accused in the 1991 murder case.
Today, Senior Counsel MukulRohatgi, appearing for Saini, submitted that his client was a decorated officer who rose through the ranks during the height of militancy in Punjab. Rohatgi claimed that the Punjab government was after Saini because he had filed two chargesheets in which current Chief Minister of Punjab Captain Amarinder Singh was named.
Senior Advocate SidharthLuthra, opposing the bail plea, contended that Rohatgi was attributing motives to the judge that rejected Saini’s bail plea. He went on to state that the High Court had noted that Saini misused his powers.
“Court had noted that a person had succumbed to his injury after he was inhumanly treated by the applicant…after his retirement, the accused still has the audacity and power to have some files in his control. How can this be allowed?”
After hearing Senior Advocate KV Viswanathan, appearing for Multani’s brother, the Court proceeded to direct that no arrest can take place before the state government’s reply is heard.
It thus issued notice in the matter, directing that rejoinder be filed within a week.
(DGP) Sumedh Singh Saini has challenged the Punjab & Haryana High Court’s September 7 order dismissing his anticipatory bail plea in the Multani kidnapping and murder case. The Apex Court is also in receipt of a caveat from the Punjab Police to pre-empt Saini from getting any ex-parte relief. Multani, a junior engineer with Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Corporation, was allegedly picked up by the police in December 1991 after a terror attack on Saini that killed three policemen. (DGP) Sumedh Singh Saini was injured in the attack.
In May, this year, Saini was booked at a police station in Mohali along with six others for the alleged kidnapping of Multani in 1991. A murder charge was added in August after two of the accused policemencame clean about the incident.
Saini also faces a trial before a Special CBI Court in Delhi for the alleged abduction of automobile businessman Vinod Kumar, his brother-in-law Ashok Kumar, and their driver Mukhtiyar Singh. While Vinod and Mukhtiyar were picked up by the police from the parking lot of the Punjab & Haryana High Court on March 15, 1994, Ashok was allegedly abducted from Ludhiana the same day.