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Bargari sacrilege: Pb files revision petition against CBI court's refusal to share closure report

Press Trust of India  |  Mohali (Pb) 

The Punjab government on Tuesday filed a revision petition in the special CBI court here, challenging its July 23 orders, dismissing the state's plea for a copy of the closure report filed by the agency.

In response to the petition, the Additional Sessions Judge cum Judge, Special Court, CBI, issued a notice to the agency and fixed August 29 as the next date for hearing the matter, said Punjab Advocate General Atul Nanda in a statement here.

The Special Judicial Magistrate CBI had passed an order dismissing the state of Punjab's application seeking a copy of the closure report in the sacrilege incidents.

On July 4, the CBI had filed its closure report in a special CBI court in Mohali, giving a clean chit to the accused in the three incidents of desecration of Guru Granth Sahib in 2015 in Faridkot.

It is the state's contention that its application for the closure report copy was dismissed by the Special Judicial Magistrate in an "arbitrary and unjust manner", Nanda said.

He cited the revision petition to point out that the copy of the said closure report was not supplied to the state government or police, nor was any intimation given to the state government or police about the grounds on which the CBI had requested the court to close the above said cases.

The state is entitled to the copy of the closure report and other relevant documents in order to challenge the CBI's decision, said the AG.

In its revision petition, the Punjab government, through Assistant Inspector General of Police (Crime), Bureau of Investigation, said the state has prayed before the court to summon the record of the case and a direction that a copy of the closure report and all supporting material be supplied to the state of Punjab.

The state government has also sought a stay on further proceedings, till the disposal of this revision petition, and has prayed that the CBI court should pass such further orders as may be deemed fit in the interest of justice.

The Special Judicial Magistrate, CBI, Punjab, Mohali has "failed" to appreciate the fact that the offences of sacrilege of Holy Sri Guru Granth Sahib had been committed in the territorial jurisdiction of state of Punjab, the revision petition further argued.

Pointing out that for about three years, since the cases were handed over to it, the CBI gave no information about the progress into the investigations conducted by it, the revision petition states that, "The matter is highly emotive and had in the past led to widespread anger, resentment and law and order problems in the state of Punjab."

Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday lambasted the Akalis for their "perverse and desperate attempts" to obstruct the investigations into the Bargari sacrilege case, and said his government had moved the court against the CBI closure report to enable the state to pursue the probe to its logical conclusion.

The Chief Minister in Mohali said the then SAD-BJP government had deliberately handed over the sensitive case to the CBI in the first place and the agency had played to the "tune of its masters" by closing the matter without completing the probe.

Previous SAD-BJP government had handed over three sacrilege cases--theft of a 'bir' (copy) of Guru Granth Sahib from a Burj Jawahar Singh Walagurdwara on June 1, 2015, putting up of hand-written sacrilegious posters in Bargari and Burj Jawahar Singh Wala on September 25 and torn pages of the holy book being found at Bargari on October 12, 2015 in Faridkot to the CBI for probe.

Last year, the Punjab government had issued a notification for withdrawing investigation from CBI following a resolution passed in the Vidhan Sabha and handed over the matter to a Punjab Police SIT.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, August 20 2019. 23:25 IST