New Delhi, January 31
In a major relief to SAD leader Bikram Singh Majithia, the Supreme Court on Monday gave him protection from arrest till February 23 in a criminal case under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985, in view of the February 20 Assembly elections in Punjab.
As an SAD candidate from Amritsar East, Majithia is pitted against Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu.
A Bench led by CJI NV Ramana, which had earlier restrained Punjab from taking coercive action against Majithia till January 31, asked the SAD leader to surrender before the trial court on February 23. It directed the trial court to decide his bail plea expeditiously.
The top court wondered how several criminal cases were suddenly coming out on the eve of the Assembly elections in Punjab. It also talked about a case registered against Simarjit Singh Bains that has landed in the top court.
“Sorry to say this, suddenly these cases are coming up before elections and everybody has reasons to suspect some motives.... We are in a democracy… we are not saying hold your hands and not control drug mafias. But let the elections take place,” the Bench told senior counsel P Chidambaram, representing the Punjab Government. —
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