Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, September 8
The Punjab and Haryana High Court today dismissed the anticipatory bail petition filed by Punjab’s former Director General of Police (DGP) Sumedh Singh Saini in the three-decade-old Multani kidnapping and murder case.
Justice Fateh Deep Singh also dismissed another petition filed by Saini for declaring the probe “non-est” (nothing) and in violation of a Supreme Court judgment. Saini, for the time being, has no protection from the court in the FIR registered against him in the case alleging illegal abduction, detention, torture and custodial death of Balwant Singh Multani in December 1991. Detailed judgments were not yet available.
He now has the option to pursue his legal remedies by moving the Supreme Court or to surrender either in the court or before the police. The state, in the meantime, can initiate proceedings for declaring him a proclaimed offender. A Punjab Police team had last week conducted a raid at Saini's house in Chandigarh.
Saini had filed the petition following the addition of murder charge (Section 302, IPC) to the case. Appearing before the Bench through videoconferencing, Saini’s counsel had argued that he was earlier granted bail in the same case when it was registered for abduction (Section 364, IPC). As such, he should be granted anticipatory bail on addition of Section 302 as it was the same case. He also pressed upon the fact that FIR registered by the CBI in 2008 for the same incident was set aside by the Supreme Court.
Rebutting the arguments, senior advocate Sidharth Luthra and special public prosecutor Sartej Singh Narula argued that the investigation was at its initial stage when the accused was granted bail for offence under Section 364. At that time, hardly any evidence was collected by the special investigation team. As of now, there was sufficient evidence on record for indictment of Saini in Multani’s custodial death.
It was added his custodial interrogation was required to find out about police officials involved in illegal abduction, detention, torture, and disposal of Multani’s body.
The Bench was also told about a triple murder case going on against Saini in Delhi. Even after his retirement, the CBI’s investigating officer had turned hostile. It was added Saini was also responsible for intimidating a sitting High Court judge.
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