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SC grants protection from arrest to SAD's Bikram Singh Majithia till Jan 31

The Supreme Court asked the Punjab government not to take any coercive action against Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader till January 31 after he approached the top court for anticipatory bail.

Bikram Majithia

Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Bikram Singh Majithia (Photo: PTI)

ANI General News
The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the Punjab government not to take any coercive action against Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Bikram Singh Majithia till January 31 after he approached the top court for anticipatory bail.
A Bench headed by Chief Justice of India NV Ramana asked the Punjab government not to take any coercive steps till Monday, the day when it will hear Majithia's anticipatory bail plea.
"Tell your government not to do anything till Monday, we will hear it on Monday. List the matter on Monday," the bench told senior advocate P Chidambaram, appearing for the Punjab government.
The Punjab and Haryana High Court on January 24 had dismissed Majithia's anticipatory bail plea.
Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi appearing for Majithia mentioned the matter before the apex case for early hearing of the plea saying "this is a case of political vendetta and he is called to the police station. This is all due to the election fever."
As Rohatgi said it is an election fever, the CJI quipped "it's an election virus".
The High Court had granted three-day protection from arrest to Majithia for approaching the top court to challenge its order in which the anticipatory bail plea of the former minister was dismissed.
Majithia, who is facing an FIR by Punjab Police in a Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS) case, was earlier granted interim bail by the High Court on a condition of cooperating in the investigation.
Majithia was apprehending arrest after a case under the provisions of the NDPS Act was registered at Mohali on December 20, last year.
The petition filed through Karanjawala law firm, stated that "the present case is blatantly political in nature and has been registered with the malafide objective to target the petitioner who is the mainstream leader of the opposition party, one month prior to the polls in the State."
"The current dispensation i.e. the Congress-led government has left no stone unturned to misuse its powers and position for wreaking vengeance against its political opponents and the Petitioner is one such target. The gross abuse of the process of law and the vindicative nature of the FIR. No. 0002, dated December 20, 2021 is evident from the fact that the FIR has been registered in 2021 in respect of allegations/incidents of 2014. Thus there is a gross and unexplained delay," the plea in the apex court stated.
It said the FIR has been deliberately registered at a time just prior to the elections with the oblique motive to remove the Majithia, who is the prime face of the opposition party, to gain political mileage.
The filing of nominations has started in the State of Punjab from January 25, 2022, and would continue till February 1, 2022, said the plea, adding that the purity of the electoral process is at stake.
In the High Court, Majithia alleged that the sole intention to register the FIR against him is to take him in custody and torture him. Majithia had contended that the FIR was registered against him keeping an eye on the upcoming elections and his fundamental rights are at stake.
Punjab government, before the High Court, had opposed his bail plea contending that Majithia has not extended full cooperation during the investigation.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Jan 27 2022 | 2:49 PM IST

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