Tribune News Service
Chandigarh. June 22
The Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the Kotkapura police firing incident today courted controversy when a retired prosecution officer accompanied the team for questioning ex-CM Parkash Singh Badal at his official residence here.
High Court allowed help
- Sources in the government claim that the officer, Vijay Singla, has been hired as a legal expert to assist the SIT
- He had retired as the Director, Prosecution and Litigation, and was hired on May 19
- The order copy mentions that the HC had allowed the new SIT to seek assistance of a legal expert
Shiromani Akali Dal leaders alleged that the SIT tried to hide the officer’s identity by posing him as a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP). However, when confronted, his real identity was revealed. Tempers ran high as SAD leaders questioned the motive of the SIT.
Sources in the government later claimed that the officer, Vijay Singla, was hired as a legal expert to assist the SIT in the probe. He had retired as the Director, Prosecution and Litigation, and was hired on May 19. The order copy mentioned that the High Court had allowed the new SIT to seek assistance of a legal expert.
Sources also said Singla had earlier defended the Badals in some court cases in his official capacity when the SAD-BJP was in power. They said Singla was well-known to all and there was no question of faking his identity.
Addressing a press conference, senior SAD leaders Prem Singh Chandumajra, Maheshinder Singh Grewal and Daljit Singh Cheema said the entire run-up to the questioning of Badal by the SIT as well as making a former Director, Prosecution and Litigation, part of the team indicated that the Congress government wanted to politicise the issue. They said the SIT introduced the officer as the DSP to Badal’s security team.
“The prosecution steps in only when the challan is presented in the court. How can the former Director, Prosecution and Litigation, be made part of the SIT,” they asked, asserting that the SIT was working on the directions of the CM’s “kitchen cabinet”, including adviser BIS Chahal.
Grewal said the Congress government was also indulging in contempt of court by questioning Badal on the issue of phone calls made by him to the Faridkot Deputy Commissioner a night prior to the firing incident. He said the High Court had ruled in the case that the CM was well within his rights to call up the Deputy Commissioner.
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