Punjab NDPS case: High Court grants bail to SAD leader Bikram Singh Majithia
Observing that “the evidence against the petitioner (Bikram Singh Majithia) is frail and not credible and so reasonable grounds exist to believe that the petitioner is not guilty of ‘financing’ drug trafficking”, the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Wednesday granted bail to senior Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Bikram Singh Majithia on Wednesday.
A division bench of Justices M S Ramachandra Rao and Sureshwar Thakur said that Majithia should deposit his passport with the investigating agency concerned and can travel abroad only with the leave of this court. Majithia was booked under the NDPS Act on the basis of a 2018 report of a probe into a drug racket in the state. He surrendered before the state police on February 24, 2022, and had been lodged in Patiala Central Jail.
The observation of the bench came after the State of Punjab pleaded that the investigation in the present case is progressing and the collection of evidence is underway and that more information is required to be collected from within and beyond India to ascertain the linkages, including financial transactions of the fugitive accused persons, to the petitioner. The bench, however, made it clear that this observation is tentative and made only for deciding this bail application and shall not be construed as an expression of a ‘final opinion’ on the issue as only after trial such a finding can be recorded.
Over the allegations against Majithia on financing drug manufacture/trade, the HC said, “Though there is a reference in the FIR to a statement by Jagjit Singh Chahal recorded under Section 50 of PMLA that the petitioner was given Rs 35 lakh as election funds from 2007-12, that statement does not provide any foundation for any allegations under the NDPS Act.”
Regarding the allegations against Majithia of harbouring offenders, the HC held that as per application filed by the State seeking judicial remand of the petitioner on February 24, 2022, Satpreet Singh alias Satta and Parminder Singh alias Pindi were nominated as accused in this FIR only on December 23, 2021, while Amrinder Singh alias Laddi was nominated as accused on January 21, 2022. The bench added that the said document also reveals that Pindi and Laddi were declared proclaimed offenders on August 16, 2014, and April 22, 2014, respectively in FIR No – 241 dated
December 7, 2013, and FIR No – 56 dated May 15, 2013, respectively and they had never been tried. Admittedly all
these three individuals are residents of Canada and they have not set foot in India after 2013. An extradition
proposal against Pindi is said to be pending with the Department of Justice, Government of Canada.
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