Read Order: Sukhdev Singh v. State of Punjab 

LE Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 28, 2021: The Punjab and Haryana High Court has sought an affidavit from the Director General of Police, Punjab, to verify the correct facts in a fraud case registered in 2013 and explaining the reasons as to why the investigating agency has dragged this matter for so long.

The “disturbing fact” came to the court’s notice when a petitioner sought anticipatory bail in an FIR registered in 2013 under section 406/420/34 IPC, at Police Station Dayalpura, District Bathinda.

As per the case of the prosecution, the petitioner, Sukhdev Singh, is a partner in a firm which runs a rice mill. There was a shortage of 22,309 bags of paddy, weighing 7808.15 Qtls. The estimated value of the paddy was Rs 1.36 crore. The missing paddy belonged to a Public Sector Undertaking which had assigned to the rice mill the task of de-husking.

Learned counsel representing the petitioner contended that the rice mill has already supplied the paddy it had received and the shortfall, if any, was with respect to the previous year.

He further contended that the petitioner was in custody in a case involving Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985, on 08.06.2013 and therefore, the petitioner cannot be said to have caused the deficiency

The bench of Justice Anil Kshetarpal stated that there is no case for grant of pre-arrest bail. The correctness of the contentions is yet to be verified. Therefore, it is incumbent upon the petitioner to join the investigation.

“A disturbing fact has come to the notice of the court which needs thorough probe. The FIR was registered on 30.09.2013. It has been nearly 8 years. As per the allegations, the public money of many crores is involved. Apparently, there is no reason as to why the Investigating Agency did not take appropriate steps for completion of the investigation during these 8 years. For the same, the explanation can only be given by the Investigating Agency,” said the bench of Justice Anil Kshetarpal.

“Hence, the Director General of Police, Punjab, is directed to verify the correct facts and file his own affidavit explaining the reasons as to why the Investigating Agency dragged this matter for so long. With these observations, the petition is dismissed. All the pending miscellaneous applications, if any, are also disposed of,” held the court.

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