Thu. Dec 7th, 2023

Chandigarh – The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today charged the Congress government of using the ‘personal opinion’ of a police officer who was related to former minister Bikram Majithia and had an axe to grind with him to register a FIR against the latter and demanded that inquiries done at the instance of high court subsequent to the report submitted by STF head Harpreet Sidhu be made public.

Addressing a press conference here, SAD Spokesman Parambans Singh Romana also released Mr Harpreet Sidhu’s admission that he was related to Mr Bikram Majithia and that he was not on speaking terms with Mr Majithia’s family since fifteen years. He said despite this the fabricated FIR registered against Mr Majithia had relied on the report of Mr Sidhu which the latter himself admitted was an opinion and not an investigation. “The officer has admitted that he based his report on the record of the Enforcement Directorate. If that is so the ED was competent to file a challan against Mr Majithia in case they had found anything incriminating against him. They did not do so”.

Mr Parambans Romana also disclosed that the trial in the case which Mr Sidhu was referring to – that is the Jagdish Bhola case – had ended in January 2019. “Even convictions were done in the case with Bhola and one Jagjit Chahal being convicted even as the third accused Bittu Aulakh was acquitted”. He said despite this factual position, Sidhu’s report stated that Bittu Aulakh was instrumental in making the accused persons meet Mr Majithia.

Going further, Mr Romana said after Sidhu’s report, the Punjab and Haryana high court had appointed a committee to go through the STF report. He said the report of the committee comprising the then ACS Home and the State DGP was also lying in a sealed cover in the high court. “This should also be made public”. He also disclosed that the accused in the drugs case – Chahal and Aulakh had also approached the high court and it had appointed a three member SIT of Inspector General’s of Police (IGs) to revisit all the cases and submit its report and had also directed the SIT to exonerate accused if needed and add fresh accused if any had been left out. “The SIT filed ten supplementary challans in the case and also submitted its final report. This should also be made public”, Mr Romana added.

Meanwhile asserting that the entire case against Mr Majithia was fabricated, Mr Romana said “two DGPs were changed and a third DGP – S Chattopadhyay was appointed to the post despite the fact that he was ineligible as his name was not even shortlisted for appointment as a regular DGP by the UPSC. “The UPSC had even scheduled a meeting for appointment of a regular DGP four days after Mr Chattopadhyay’s appointment but the Punjab government chose to appoint him nevertheless. This point’s to a quid-pro-quo arrangement under which the police officer was charged with the task of registering a false case against Mr Majithia”.

Mr Romana said the new DGP had broken all norms by ordering the registration of a case against Mr Majithia. “This is the first such instance when a DGP has given such an order. It is also the first time that a case is being re-investigated after it has been decided by the courts without taking any direction from a superior court”.

The SAD Spokesman said besides Chattopadhyay who had become a party to the vendetta against the SAD, the Congress government had also prevailed upon Bureau of Investigation (BOI) IG Gautam Cheema to sign the document on behalf of the BOI after his boss S K Asthana proceeded on leave after questioning the veracity of the action against Mr Majithia. “Mr Gautam Cheema is a tainted police officer who is facing several criminal cases and has not been promoted as ADGP due to this reason. It is clear that a deal was struck with Mr Cheema to implicate Mr Majithia”.

Mr Romana meanwhile also highlighted how several conscientious police officers had refused to become party to this vendetta exercise. He said three successive heads of the BOI including Mr Arpit Shukla, Mr Varinder Kumar and Mr S K Asthana had chosen to leave their assignments rather than indulge in any illegality. “Even the SSP, Patiala gave a written dissent stating why no case could be registered against Mr Majithia before proceeding on leave’, he added.

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