Govt: No final sacrilege probe report sans High Court nod

Chandigarh, November 1: The state of Punjab on Wednesday gave an undertaking before the Punjab and Haryana High Court that it would not file the final investigation report before any court without the Bench’s prior permission in cases registered in connection with sacrilege incidents.

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The undertaking before Justice Rajan Gupta’s Bench regarding four cases in which a CBI probe was ordered — before the decision was reversed — came on a petition filed against the Punjab Legislative Assembly and other respondents by police officer Shamsher Singh through counsel Sant Pal Singh Sidhu.

Justice Gupta issued a notice of motion to the Assembly, the CBI and other respondents for November 2. Challenging the impugned resolution dated August 28, passed by the Assembly, the counsel for the petitioner submitted that it was unsustainable as reasons were not assigned therein for reviewing the decision taken earlier to hand over the investigation to the premier investigating agency.

He added that the probe was required to be entrusted to an independent agency such as the CBI “as the abuse and misuse of law, power and authority was writ large”. He also submitted that “a free, fair, impartial and unbiased investigation was not expected from the Punjab Police”.

Justice Gupta posed a query to the counsel about the scope of the judicial review of a decision taken by the state’s legislative body. The counsel referred to a judgment passed by the apex court in the case of ‘Raja Ram Pal vs The Hon’ble Speaker, Lok Sabha’ before contending that legislative entities were not immune from judicial review.

“The validity of the action of the legislature is subject to judicial review if it trespasses on the fundamental rights conferred on the citizens,” he added.

In response to the notice, the state Deputy Advocate General present in the court submitted that he would assist the court and apprise the Bench of the status of the investigation being conducted by a special investigation team. He further submitted that the final report would not be filed before any court without the prior permission of the HC.

This is the second petition to be filed for a CBI probe. Former SSP Charanjit Singh Sharma and three other police officers have already moved the High Court, seeking a probe by an independent agency such as the CBI into the four FIRs.

Source Tribune India