Former Punjab DGP Sumedh Singh Saini, who has been trying to avoid arrest in connection with a 29-year-old abduction and murder case, on Tuesday received a setback, with the Punjab and Haryana High Court rejecting his anticipatory bail plea. The court also turned down his request to transfer the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
The development has now cleared the way for the Punjab police to arrest the former top cop, who, the police claim has gone underground to evade arrest in the case.
On Saini’s anticipatory bail plea, Justice Fatehdeep Singh on Monday heard the arguments made by both Saini’s lawyer, APS Deol and Special Public Prosecutor Sartez Singh Narula appointed by the Punjab government for the case.
The Punjab-Haryana High Court reserved the verdict after 5 consecutive hours of hearing, which was pronounced on Tuesday morning. Saini now has the option of filing an anticipatory bail petition in the Supreme Court or surrendering to the police.
After the dismissal of Saini’s petition, the Punjab Police can now start the legal process in the Mohali court to declare him as a ‘fugitive’.
In the petition, Saini had challenged the FIR lodged in Mohali and demanded that the matter be investigated by the CBI or an independent investigating agency.
Due to the question mark on the maintainability of the petition, till now the High Court had not issued notices to the Punjab Government on this.
In 1991, Balwant Singh Multani, a junior engineer with Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Corporation, was picked by police after the terrorist attack on Saini, who was the then senior superintendent of police in Chandigarh.
Police had later claimed that Multani had escaped from custody. He had been missing since.
A case was filed against Saini and six others in May based on the complaint of Balwant Multani’s brother Palwinder Singh Multani. Two former Chandigarh police personnel, who are also co-accused, have turned approvers in the case.