Read Order: Court on its own Motion v. State of Punjab & ors 

LE Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 27, 2021: In the resumed hearing of the case pertaining to pending trials against MPs and MLAs, the Punjab and Haryana High Court today stated that in case the Court finds that there is any unnecessary delay in carrying out the probe, it shall have no option but to seek explanation of the concerned investigating officers.

The bench of Justices Rajan Gupta and Karamjit Singh made these observations after the State of Punjab placed on record an additional affidavit of Gursharan Singh Sandhu, Inspector General of Police, Crime, Bureau of Investigation, Punjab.

According to him, in compliance with the order passed by the Supreme Court in Ashwani Kumar Upadhyay Vs. Union of India & Anr. [WP (Civil) No. 699 of 2016], an affidavit of Arun Pal Singh, Inspector General of Police, Litigation, Bureau of Investigation, Punjab was filed giving the compilation of date regarding criminal cases registered against MPs and MLAs (sitting or erstwhile) in the State of Punjab. 

He further submitted that in furtherance to the direction of the court, Inspector General of Police, Crime-II, Bureau of Investigation was nominated as Nodal Officer for fortnightly review of criminal cases registered against MPs/MLAs (sitting or erstwhile) which are under investigation of the Police and sincere efforts are being made to ensure compliance of the directions issued by the Supreme Court as well as the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

According to the police officer, a letter has been written to field units in Punjab to ensure compliance.

Meanwhile, Sumeet Goel, senior counsel representing the CBI, referred to a reply dated 27.07.2021 filed by the CBI, Special Criminal Branch, Chandigarh. He referred to various cases pending against MPs and MLAs and made a particular reference to an FIR dated 04.05.2011 registered under section 8 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.

According to the CBI counsel, the trial in the said case is pending at a special court, Chandigarh but has not made any headway despite it being at the stage of culmination.

On this, the HC stated that a report be sought from the special court, CBI, Chandigarh as regards the reasons for delay in concluding the trial.

Meanwhile, Ankur Mittal, Addl. A.G. Haryana, submitted that the cases where investigation is pending are being reviewed by Nodal Officer Sanjay Kumar, Inspector General of Police, Law & Order (Administration). It is also being examined whether there has been any undue delay in investigation and reasons thereof. He further assured the court that no further delay shall be brooked by the State in view of clear direction of the Supreme Court. 

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