Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, August 2
The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Tuesday directed the issuance of a week’s notice, if Punjab’s former top cop Sumedh Singh Saini was sought to be arrested in Kotkapura police firing case registered three years back.
Justice Avneesh Jhingan’s order paves way for Saini “to have recourse to remedies available to him”.
Saini had moved the High Court against the State of Punjab through senior counsel APS Deol with advocate H.S. Deol for anticipatory bail in the FIR for attempt to murder, disappearance of evidence and other offences registered on August 7, 2018, under Sections 307, 326, 324, 323, 341, 201, 218, 120-B, 148, 149 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code, and the provisions of the Arms Act, 1959, at Police Kotkapura station city in Faridkot district.
Appearing before Justice Jhingan’s Bench, Deol submitted Saini was apprehending arrest on being summoned for March 26 by the Court of Faridkot Judicial Magistrate First Class on presentation of fourth supplementary report under Section 173(8) CrPC.
Justice Jhingan observed notice of motion was issued on March 4, 2021. In the meantime, Saini’s arrest in the FIR was stayed. The interim directions were modified on March 22. The petitioner’s arrest remained stayed, but the prosecution/State was given liberty to proceed with the matter in accordance with law.
Justice Jhingan took note of the State counsel’s submissions that a new SIT was constituted after the High Court in April set aside the charge sheet filed in the present FIR. Justice Jhingan further took note of submissions by the petitioner’s counsel that apprehensions of arrest were still in existence as Saini had been summoned by new SIT.
Justice Jhingan added the petitioner was not named in the FIR and summoned only on the basis of fourth supplementary report. But the charge sheet and fourth supplementary report no longer existed and fresh investigation was being carried out by the newly constituted SIT.
“However, it would not be appropriate to ignore the factual background of the case. Petitioner served the State being IPS officer. This Court in another matter, considering various aspects involved including political colour, vide order dated October 11, 2018, granted protection that in case petitioner is to be arrested, a clear seven days’ notice would be served,” Justice Jhingan observed.
Disposing of the petition in view of the change in circumstances during the pendency of the matter, Justice Jhingan ordered a week's notice would be given to the petitioner in case he is sought to be arrested to enable him to have recourse to remedies available to him.
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