SC quashes cheating case against Parkash Singh Badal & Sukhbir : The Tribune India

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SC quashes cheating case against Parkash Singh Badal & Sukhbir

SC quashes cheating case against Parkash Singh Badal & Sukhbir


Tribune News Service

Satya Prakash

New Delhi, April 28

The Supreme Court on Friday quashed a cheating and forgery case against late SAD leader Parkash Singh Badal, his son and party president Sukhbir Singh Badal and Daljit Singh Cheema over the issue of two constitutions of the party, saying none of the ingredients of the offences alleged were made out.

Abuse of process of law

A Bench led by Justice MR Shah said the complaint against Parkash Singh Badal, his son Sukhbir and Daljit Singh Cheema amounted to abuse of the process of law

“Under the circumstances to continue the criminal proceedings against the appellants-accused arising out of the complaint and to face the trial by the accused as per the summoning order is nothing but an abuse of process of law and court and this is a fit case to quash the criminal proceedings arising out of the complaint… including the summoning order passed by the learned trial court,” a Bench led by Justice MR Shah said.

Allowing three appeals filed by the Badals and Cheema, the Bench, including Justice CT Ravikumar, quashed an order of the Punjab and Haryana High Court which had rejected their petition against a summoning order issued by the trial court.

The top court also set aside the November 4, 2019, order summoning the accused to face trial for cheating, forgery and criminal conspiracy.

The top court, however, clarified, “we have not expressed anything on the constitution of the party — Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) — and the present order shall not affect the pending proceedings before the High Court of Delhi, which is reported to be pending against the order passed

by the ECI.”

The Bench, which had reserved the verdict on April 11, delivered it three days after the demise of Badal on April 25.

Complainant Balwant Singh Khera had alleged that while complying with the requirements of Section 29-A(5) of the Representation of People Act, 1951, an affidavit was filed in the shape of an undertaking with the Election Commission of India (ECI), which conflicted with the affidavit/undertaking given to the Gurdwara Election Commission.

Alleging that SAD was involved in religious activities, Khera alleged that the SAD had no right to function as a political party as its office-bearers were non-secular and that it filed a false constitution with the ECI to gain recognition as a party.

However, the top court said, “… even assuming the complaint’s averments to be true, do not make out the ingredients of the offences, for which the learned trial court has passed the summoning order.”

“Merely being religious does not mean a person cannot be secular,” the Bench had noted while reserving the verdict. The Bench had made it clear that it will not go into the larger question of whether it’s a secular or religious party and would limit its reasoning to the issuance of summons by the trial court over alleged forgery and whether offences alleged were prima facie made out or not.

The Bench said the HC should have quashed proceedings that would have been an abuse of the process of law. “The HC ought to have quashed proceedings that would have been an abuse of process. We quash and set the impugned order including trial court summons,” it said.

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#daljit singh cheema #parkash singh badal #sukhbir badal #supreme court


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