Chandigarh, January 27
A decade after the Punjab and Haryana High Court took suo motu cognisance of drug menace in Punjab, it today perused four reports submitted in the case in sealed cover over a period of time. The reports include ones by Special Task Force and Enforcement Directorate’s then Assistant Director Niranjan Singh and then IAS officer NS Kalsi.
The court also directed handing over of the copies of the sealed reports to the state for looking into the same. A notice was also issued to the state on an application filed by intervener Lawyers for Human Rights International, through advocate Navkiran Singh, seeking directions for opening the report filed by Special Investigation Team on the alleged role of police officials in the matter.
After hearing the case for more than two hours, the Bench of Justice Gurmeet Singh Sandhawalia and Justice Harpreet Kaur Jeewan fixed February 15 as the next date of hearing in the matter. The Centre was represented in the matter by its senior counsel Arun Gosain.
The Bench, during the resumed hearing, ordered the re-sealing of the reports.
The HC Registrar-General was also asked to get the copies of the reports prepared under supervision before handing them over to the state.
The Bench had earlier called for a status report on the intervener’s application seeking directions to the state to act upon three reports submitted between February 2018 and May 2018 by the then SIT head Siddharth Chattopadhyaya. The application added the reports contained the outcome of an inquiry conducted by the SIT against “the erring police officials, who are allegedly acting in connivance with the drug traffickers”.
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