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Balwant Singh Multani Murder : Supreme Court Reserves Order On Former Punjab DGP Sumedh Singh Saini's Anticipatory Bail Plea

Sanya Talwar
17 Nov 2020 2:04 PM GMT
Balwant Singh Multani Murder : Supreme Court Reserves Order On Former Punjab DGP Sumedh Singh Sainis Anticipatory Bail Plea
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The Supreme Court on Tuesday reserved orders in the plea by former Director General of Police (DGP), Punjab, Sumedh Singh Saini seeking anticipatory bail in relation to the 1991 Balwant Singh Multani murder case.A bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy & MR Shah heard the plea where Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi appeared for Saini.Rohatgi told the court that the case...

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The Supreme Court on Tuesday reserved orders in the plea by former Director General of Police (DGP), Punjab, Sumedh Singh Saini seeking anticipatory bail in relation to the 1991 Balwant Singh Multani murder case.

A bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy & MR Shah heard the plea where Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi appeared for Saini.

Rohatgi told the court that the case was registered against Saini because he was investigating cases against the then-chief minister of the State. "There is no material except self-serving statements by accused who are similarly placed and even they were granted anticipatory bail," said Rohatgi.

The bench said that three decades had passed and mulled over whether this was a case where custody was required at all. The Court also raised questions as to how Section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code was added against the accused and under what law the State approached the magistrate to do so.

Rohatgi further argued that the Punjab government had no jurisdiction in the instant case, as the alleged torture occurred in Chandigarh.

Senior Advocate Sidharth Luthra, appearing for the State of Punjab, contended that anticipatory bail at this stage would hamper the probe against Saini and requested the Court to allow him to place the investigation details in a sealed cover.

On September 15, Supreme Court had granted interim protection from arrest to former Director General of Police in Punjab Sumedh Singh Saini, who is an accused in the 1991 Balwant Singh Multani kidnapping and murder case. The Court has issued notice in the anticipatory bail plea filed by him.

The plea has been filed by Saini which challenges the September 7 order of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, wherein his anticipatory bail plea was dismissed.

The case had been registered against Saini under sections 364 (kidnapping or abducting in order to murder), 201 (causing the disappearance of evidence of offence), 344 (wrongful confinement), 330 (voluntarily causes hurt), 219 and 120 (B) (criminal conspiracy) [Section 302 IPC added subsequently] of the Indian Penal Code at Mataur police station in Mohali.

It has been alleged that Balwant Singh Multani (hereinafter referred to as 'the deceased') was killed in State-managed elimination around the month of December 1991.

Allegedly, during the tenure of the petitioner (Sumedh Singh Saini) as SSP, Chandigarh on the early morning of 11.12.1991 the police of Chandigarh swooped upon the residence of the deceased and took him away forcibly and illegally without assigning any reason.

Allegedly, it was during the course of their illegal detention, the deceased (Multani) was given third-degree treatment by the accused.

On account of police excesses, the deceased became unwell and on 13.12.1991 an FIR No.440 of 1991 under Sections 212, 216 IPC; Section 25 of the Arms Act, and Sections 3 and 5 of the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act, 1987 was registered against him

He was shown to be an accused in the said case and hence arrested on false allegations by SI Har Sahai Sharma, In-charge of Police Station, Sector 17, Chandigarh.

It was during the police torture, Balwant Singh Multani succumbed to the ghastly third-degree treatment of the police. Later on, in a pre-planned manner, the deceased was shown to have been declared as a proclaimed offender.

https://www.livelaw.in/news-updates/3-decade-old-multani-murder-case-ph-hc-dismisses-anticipatory-bail-plea-of-punjab-ex-dgp-sumedh-singh-saini-162648

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