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Moga Sex Scandal
Punjab moves SC against CBI probe
S.S. Negi
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, February 4
The Punjab government today moved the Supreme Court seeking cancellation of an order of the Punjab and Haryana High Court to hand over the probe into the Moga sex scandal case to the CBI in which some councillors, local leaders and a journalist were accused, among others.

A special leave petition (SLP) against the High Court’s December 11 order was filed in the apex court registry with a plea to set it aside and let the case be pursued by the special investigating team (SIT) of the state police as the case had progressed to the trial stage.

The SLP moved by Punjab government’s standing counsel Ajay Pal said though the High Court had lauded the role of the SIT working directly under the supervision of a DIG-rank officer, for cracking the case, yet it ordered transfer to the CBI at a stage when the trial court had proceeded much ahead.

The SLP has reproduced the observations of the High Court judges’ in the SLP, which read as “We want to make one thing very clear that the team comprising Ishwar Chaner, DIG, L K Yadav, SSP, Moga and Bhupinder Singh, DSP, have done a commendable job in unearthing the scam”.

In such circumstances, the High Court had ordered transfer of the case to the CBI “without there being any material on record to doubt the investigation of the state police,” it said. The High Court had even stated that it was not “casting any doubts on the investigating team,” Ajay Pal pointed out in the petition.

According to the government counsel though the sex scandal had a larger dimension with over Rs 5 crore changing hands with the involvement of some businessmen and moneyed class people, yet the police had done its job fairly well to bring the guilty to the book.

The SLP has given names of 14 persons who were named as accused on the basis of a statement of a woman arrested by the police. She had alleged that they had sexual relations with her against her will. In fact the High Court had relied upon the statements of two persons - Bhushan Garg and Inderjit Singh - to order transfer of the case as they alleged that they had been “implicated” in the case by the police in FIR 198 of October 24, 2007. But the High Court “ignored” the material fact that these persons were actually accused in FIR 82 of April 18, 2007 and investigation in that case had been completed and final report filed by the SIT, the SLP said.

Since sensitive issues of far reaching consequences are involved in the case, the apex court should lay down guidelines for the future for all high courts on the use of suo motu powers by judges in the absence of any statutory rules, the SLP said. The Punjab government counsel said efforts would be made to get the SLP listed for early hearing.



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