SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal and Akali leader Bikram Singh Majithia appeared before the high court here Thursday for hearing in a criminal case filed against them by a former judge for allegedly making false and derogatory statements against him.
The single bench of Justice Amit Rawal ordered the Shiromani Akali Dal leaders to furnish a personal bond of Rs one lakh each, said petitioner Ranjit Singh's counsel APS Deol The Punjab and Haryana High Court fixed August 21 as the next date of hearing, Deol said. Justice (Retd) Singh was appointed by the Congress government in Punjab in 2017 to a single-member panel to probe desecration of religious texts and related police firing incidents, including those that happened under SAB-BJP rule in 2015.
In his complaint filed in February this year, he claimed both Badal and Majithia made "derogatory statements against him" to bring disrepute to him and the commission.
Singh filed the complaint under Section 10-A of The Commissions of Inquiry Act, 1952.Under the provision, a person found involved in bringing the commission or its member to disrepute with defamatory statements can be jailed for six months or fined or both.In his petition, Justice (Retd) Singh has quoted incidents in which he found that Badal and Majithia were making "derogatory statements" against him and the commission. He referred to an incident when, he said, Badal and Majithia, during a public protest, described his inquiry report as "waste paper, deserving to be relegated to the trash bin". In May this year, the high court issued notices to the SAD leaders to appear before it in person. The commission's report was tabled in Punjab Assembly last year. A