Guru Granth Sahib sacrilege trial: SC refuses to transfer case out of Punjab

Eight Dera Sacha Sauda members were charged with sacrilege for allegedly tearing Guru Granth Sahib and throwing it on the ground.

Guru Granth Sahib sacrilege trial: SC refuses to transfer case out of Punjab

The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to transfer the 2015 Bathinda Guru Granth Sahib sacrilege case trial outside Punjab. Image: iStock

Satya Prakash
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 25

The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to shift the 2015 Guru Granth Sahib sacrilege case trial to another state, saying “no credible case for transfer of trial to alternative venues outside the state of Punjab is made out”.

A Bench of Justice Hrishikesh Roy, however, said the state of Punjab “must make all arrangements to ensure safe conduct of proceedings at the trial courts and also provide adequate security to the petitioners (accused) and their associates as might be warranted from the security perspective”.

Accused Jatinderveer Arora and others – members of Dera Sacha Sauda—had sought transfer of trial of cases pending before the courts at Bathinda, Moga and Faridkot in Punjab to a court in Delhi or to a nearby state.

They had contended that they were facing bias and prejudice and were unlikely to get a fair trial in the face of strong presumption of culpability. The situation in Bathinda and other places was communally surcharged where fair trial was a near impossibility, they said.

However, the top court rejected their plea, saying, “The transfer of trial from one state to another would inevitably reflect on the credibility of the state’s judiciary. Except for compelling factors and clear situation of deprivation of fair justice, the transfer power should not be invoked,” it said dismissing the transfer plea.

“It cannot just be the convenience of the petitioner but also of the complainant, the witnesses, the prosecution. The larger issue of trial normally being conducted by the jurisdictional court must also weigh on the issue.

“When relative convenience and difficulties of all the parties involved in the process are taken into account, the conclusion is inevitable that no credible case for transfer of trial to alternative venues outside the state of Punjab is made out, in the present matters,” it said.

Eight Dera Sacha Sauda members were charged with sacrilege for allegedly tearing Guru Granth Sahib and throwing it on the ground. The FIR in the matter was registered at Baja Khana police station on June 2, 2015, after a “bir” of Guru Granth Sahib was stolen from a gurdwara at Burj Jawahar Singh Wala.

The Supreme Court had on February 20 this year dismissed the CBI’s petition against the Punjab and Haryana High Court’s 2019 order refusing to interfere with the Punjab government decision to take back all sacrilege cases from the central probe agency.

It had rejected the CBI’s petition on the ground of delay while leaving the question of law open.

Don't Miss

Tracing the origins of Pashmina

Tracing the origins of Pashmina

Up against issues of racism Down Under

Up against issues of racism Down Under

Why we need to mock ourselves a little, reset our systems

Why we need to mock ourselves a little, reset our systems

Trump’s coup de tweet

Trump’s coup de tweet

Respect every opinion

Respect every opinion

Top Stories

UK's Johnson invites PM Modi to attend G-7 summit

UK's Johnson invites PM Modi to attend G-7 summit

Prime Minister Johnson also plans to visit India before the ...

Will challenge NIA notices, say farmers

Will challenge NIA notices, say farmers

In fresh summons, actor Dave Sidhu has been asked to appear ...

Biden ropes in 20 Indian-Americans in his administration, 17 at key White House positions

Biden ropes in 20 Indian-Americans in his administration, 17 at key White House positions

During the campaign, Biden had indicated that he would rope ...

Sundar, Thakur heroics help India post 336; Australia takes slender lead

Sundar, Thakur heroics help India post 336; Australia takes slender lead

Thakur’s combative knock ended when Cummins went through his...

SC to hear pleas on farm laws after recusal of member from panel set up to resolve impasse

SC to hear pleas on farm laws after recusal of member from panel set up to resolve impasse

In an “extraordinary” interim order on January 12, a bench h...

Cities

View All