Drugs Case: Punjab & Haryana High Court Extends Interim Protection Granted To Akali Leader Bikram Majithia Till Jan 24

Update: 2022-01-18 15:57 GMT

The Punjab and Haryana High Court today extended till January 24, the interim protection from arrest granted to Akali Dal leader Bikram Singh Majithia in the drugs case registered against him.Though the Bench of Justice Lisa Gill, observed that it was not inclined to adjourn the matter, however, since Majithia's Lawyer, R.S. Cheema, Senior Advocate has contracted COVID-19 and there was...

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The Punjab and Haryana High Court today extended till January 24, the interim protection from arrest granted to Akali Dal leader Bikram Singh Majithia in the drugs case registered against him.

Though the Bench of Justice Lisa Gill, observed that it was not inclined to adjourn the matter, however, since Majithia's Lawyer, R.S. Cheema, Senior Advocate has contracted COVID-19 and there was a request for an adjournment on this ground, the Bench acceded to the request.

On the other hand, P. Chidambaram, the Senior Counsel representing the respondent-State, while not opposing the adjournment on this ground, submitted that even though the petitioner had joined the investigation, but he had not extended full cooperation during the investigation. 

To this, the Court, while adjourning the matter to January 24, 2022 for final arguments and extending the protection till the next date of hearing, observed thus:

"It is made clear that in case arguments are not addressed on the next date of hearing, interim bail afforded to the petitioner shall automatically stand vacated. Needless to say, the petitioner shall, in the meantime, continue to join investigation as and when required and in terms of conditions contained in order dated 10.01.2022 and extend full cooperation to the investigating agency."

It may be noted that on January 10, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had granted interim protection from arrest to Shiromani Akali Dal leader Bikram Singh Majithia in Drugs Case on the condition that he shall co-operate in the police probe.

The Bench of Justice Lisa Gill had granted him interim protection while dealing with his anticipatory bail plea in a case registered against him by the Punjab Police last month under Sections 25 (allowing premises etc to be used for commission of an offence under the Act), 27A (financing illicit traffic and harboring offenders), and 29 (abetment and criminal conspiracy) of the Narcotic Drugs And Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.

Case background 

After a Mohali court dismissed Majithia's anticipatory bail plea, he had moved the High Court contending that there is an inexplicable delay in lodging of the FIR and the FIR itself could not have been lodged because if at all, any material had indeed surfaced against the petitioner, it was incumbent upon the authorities to have firstly sought permission of the competent Court before proceeding against him.

On January 5, appearing for Majithia, Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi had argued before the Court that the matter was being investigated both by the Enforcement Directorate (E.D) and the Special Task Force (STF) as well as the Committee constituted under orders of the Court, but no action for all these long years was taken against the petitioner.

Lastly, it was submitted that registration of the present FIR was vitiated by political and ulterior motives and it was asserted that Majithia had no criminal record and is a mainstream politician and he also undertook to join the investigation, fully cooperate with the investigating agency and abide by any conditions which may be imposed by this Court.

Case title - BIKRAM SINGH MAJITHIA VS. STATE OF PUNJAB

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