High Court dismisses anticipatory bail plea of Akali leader Majithia

| | Chandigarh
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High Court dismisses anticipatory bail plea of Akali leader Majithia

Tuesday, 25 January 2022 | Monika Malik | Chandigarh

In a major setback to the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) a day before commencement of the process to file nomination papers for Punjab Assembly elections, the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Monday dismissed the anticipatory bail application of senior leader and party MLA Bikram Singh Majithia in the drugs case.

  The sitting Majitha legislator was granted ‘interim’ anticipatory bail in a multi-crore drugs matter, just about a fortnight back, directions to join the investigation.

   With this, the Akali Dal has once again come on a back-foot, giving enough ammunition to the ruling Congress party and other rival political parties to take on SAD, which is considered to be on a strong footing in a run-up to February 20 elections. At the same time, the Punjab Police would also come under pressure to ensure Majithia’s arrest.

   As of now, the only option before Majithia is to move the Supreme Court, or face arrest after surrendering. A senior Akali leader, requesting anonymity, told The Pioneer that Majithia may surrender to the police, so as to enable him to file the nomination papers and then seek a regular bail later on. “We have sought time from the High Court to file nominations and move the Supreme Court...The situation will be clear after the Court’s detailed order,” said the leader.

Earlier in the day, the bench of Justice Lisa Gill on Monday reserved the orders on Majithia’s anticipatory bail plea after hearing final arguments. The detailed order is yet to be uploaded on the High Court’s official website.

   During the hearing of the matter, Majithia’s counsel has sought a week’s time from the Bench to surrender, which the Bench observed that it would consider.

   On the directions of the High Court, Majithia had joined the investigations. And in the subsequent hearing, the state of Punjab maintained that Majithia had not extended full cooperation during the investigation.

   At the time when Majithia was granted interim anticipatory bail, he asked to keep his mobile phone constantly on and share his live location through WhatsApp with the investigating agency.

   He was also directed to fully cooperate in the investigation and abide by the conditions, including appearance before the investigating agency as and when required.

   He was also directed not to leave the country till the next date of hearing and provide his mobile number to the investigating agency. He was also asked not to directly or indirectly try contacting any of the witnesses or anyone connected with the case in any manner.

Notably, Majithia was apprehending arrest after a case was registered at Mohali on December 20, last year, under the provisions of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act.

   After the Mohali Court dis   missed his anticipatory bail plea, Majithia moved the High Court alleging that the FIT was registered by political and ulterior motives.

    Majithia has been facing serious allegations of providing shelter to Canadian drug smuggler Satpreet Satta. It was alleged that Satta continued to stay in Majithia's residences in Amritsar and also at Chandigarh’s government accommodation. It was also alleged that Majithia had even given him a car and the gunman.

   He was also accused of taking funds from the drug smugglers for elections. On the other hand, SAD has all along been dubbing it as “an act of political vendetta”.

  Welcoming the decision, Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi on Monday described it as “a historic step to deliver justice for all those mothers who lost their sons to drugs and for the families that got devastated due to drugs”.

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