17 Nov 2021 10:57 AM GMT
The Punjab & Haryana High Court recently refused to quash an NIA Case against Jasmeet Singh Hakimzada, who is allegedly a Dubai-based international drug smuggler, by taking into account the allegations against him of reviving terrorism in the state of Punjab and his alleged involvement in the smuggling of heroin and psychotropic substances around the world.The Bench of Justice Tejinder...
The Punjab & Haryana High Court recently refused to quash an NIA Case against Jasmeet Singh Hakimzada, who is allegedly a Dubai-based international drug smuggler, by taking into account the allegations against him of reviving terrorism in the state of Punjab and his alleged involvement in the smuggling of heroin and psychotropic substances around the world.
The Bench of Justice Tejinder Singh Dhindsa and Justice Vivek Puri also noted that during investigation it had emerged that he is indulged in narco terror network to strengthen the terrorist activities of Khalistan Liberation Force through drug smugglers/militant elements and Hawala operatives.
The case before the Court
Essentially, petitioner Jasmeet Singh Hakimzada, presently in Dubai, moved to the High Court challenging the NIA's FIR against him registered under Sections 120-B of the Indian Penal Code, Sections 13, 17, 18, 18-B, 38, and 40 of Unlawful Activities (Prevention Act 1967), and Sections 27A and 29 of NDPS Act.
The allegations against the petitioner and the other accused are to the effect that they had adopted alternative remittance channels to send off the proceeds of heroin generated in Punjab to Dubai as a part of the conspiracy.
As per NIA, he is involved in the smuggling of heroin and psychotropic substances around the world and is a close aide of the self-styled Chief of Khalistan Liberation Force, a proscribed terrorist organization.
He pleaded before the Court that the National Investigation Agency has presumed the petitioner as a narcotic kingpin who runs a global drug trafficking and money laundering network and had been framed in a false case by fabricating and cooking a story with regard to criminal conspiracy.
The Court noted that during the investigation it had come out during investigation that the accused is also involved in sending weapons, grenades, and their movement and storage for committing terrorist acts in India which were detrimental to the interest and integrity of the country.
Further, it had also come on record during the investigation that the alternative remittance channel i.e. an informal method of transferring the money without any physical movement was extensively used to send the proceeds of heroin generated in Punjab to Dubai as part of a conspiracy.
Further, noting that the reliability and the evidentiary value of the confessional/disclosure statements of the co-accused giving the detail of information and revelations qua the petitioner is to be adjudicated and appreciated by the trial Court during the course of the trial, the Court observed thus:
"It cannot be said at this stage that the allegations as spelt out against the petitioner and sought to be substantiated during the course of trial are false or vague or without any substance or merit...Concededly the petitioner has been declared a proclaimed offender/absconder. In such circumstances, quashing of the charge sheet qua him will amount to putting a premium on the criminal arrogance on the part of the petitioner who is successful in evading the process of law till date."
Lastly, noting that there are serious allegations with regard to attempting to destabilize the national security, sovereignty and to disrupt the communal harmony as well as reviving terrorism in the state of Punjab, the Court refused to quash the FIR or charge-sheet or the consequential proceedings in the instant case
Case title - Jasmeet Singh Hakimzada v. NIA
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