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Moga Sex Scandal
SC declines petitions of 2 Cong councillors
S.S. Negi
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, February 18
The Supreme Court today declined to entertain the petitions of two Congress councillors of Moga for making them a party to the sensational sex scandal case in which they are named as accused among several others by the Punjab Police.

A Bench of Chief Justice K.G.Balakrishnan and Justice R.V.Raveendran refused to entertain their petitions while issuing notices to the CBI and the main complainant, a woman, who had allegedly named them and at least a dozen others in her statement before the police for sexually exploiting her.

The CBI and the woman were directed to submit their replies to the Punjab government petition, challenging the transfer of the probe to the central agency.

The lawyers for two Congress councillors - Bharat Bhushan and Indirjit Singh - made frantic efforts to implead them as party to the special leave petition (SLP) of the state government, challenging the Punjab and Haryana High Court order transferring the case to the CBI.

The Bench, which had on February 7 stayed the submission of the status report by the CBI to the high court, today showed no inclination to look into it despite Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium, appearing for the agency, making a request for the same.

Senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for the Punjab government along with its standing counsel Ajay Pal, questioned the legality of the high court order taking “suo motu” initiative for the CBI probe even when it was satisfied with the investigation done by the state police SIT.

He said the CBI also had shown abnormally keen interest in investigating the case when some Congress leaders, allegedly involved in the scandal, had approached the high court, levelling certain charges against the police.

The lawyers for the two councillors wanted to be party to the SLP in a bid to justify the CBI probe, alleging that they had been “framed up” by the state police. They alleged that some of police officials were “involved” in the scandal.

But Salve said that the state government had shown promptness in probing the case in right earnest by constituting an SIT under a DIG-rank officer and the local SHO, who initially handled the case, was put immediately under suspension.

Besides the two councillors, a local journalist and some local businessmen were named as accused by the woman.

But the accused had claimed that the suspended SHO and some police officials under his command were hand in glove with the woman, who allegedly was running the sex racket to frame them and then extract money from them.

The Punjab government, in its SLP, had raised several grounds, including the “over stretching” of the suo motu jurisdictional powers by the high court judges in ordering the CBI investigation when the trial in it had proceeded much ahead.

The SLP had listed the names of 14 accused on the basis of the statement of the woman, who was arrested but later became the complainant, accusing them of sexually exploiting her.



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