former Punjab DGP’s hearing on bail plea to resume on oct 14: SC

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday posted for October 14 hearing of a plea filed by former Punjab Director General of Police (DGP) Sumedh Singh Saini seeking anticipatory bail in connection with a case related to alleged abduction and murder of Junior Engineer Balwant Singh Multani in 1991.

A bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan adjourned the matter for next Wednesday after advocate Misha Rohatgi sought an adjournment in the case on account of Saini’s arguing counsel, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi’s bad throat.

Saini was earlier granted three weeks of interim protection from arrest in relation to the case. The court had asked Saini to cooperate with the police and investigation being done in the matter.

Saini has challenged the Punjab and Haryana High Court’s September 7 order which had dismissed his anticipatory bail plea in the case.

Earlier, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Saini, had argued that the Punjab government was after Saini because he had filed two charge sheets in which present state Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh was named.

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Saini, a 1982-batch IPS officer, who was the youngest DGP in the country, was booked along with six others on May 6 this year at Mataur police station in Mohali for the alleged kidnapping of Multani in 1991, wrongful confinement, among other charges.

Later in August, the murder charge was added to the FIR, after two co-accused turned approvers, and in their statement, claimed to be witnesses to the torture meted out to Balwant Singh Multani, under the 

custody of former DGP Saini, who was then the SSP of Chandigarh.

Multani worked with Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Corporation (CITCO) and was picked up by the police after a terrorist attack on Saini, who was then SSP. Saini was injured in the attack and three policemen were killed.

Saini retired in 2018 after 36 years of service and, in his plea, sought quashing of FIR. The petition before the top court has alleged that the case against the former DGP was an example of “politically motivated conspiracy” by the present Punjab government.

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It was claimed that Multani “fled from the police custody on December 19, 1991”.

“In 1991, Saini was posted as SSP in Chandigarh. On August 29, 1991, the blast took place. During the investigation, it was found that Devendar Singh Bhullar, who is on a life sentence, and Balwant Singh Multani were involved in the case,” claimed the plea.

Balwant Singh Multani’s father Darshan Singh Multani filed a petition before Punjab and Haryana High Court stating that his son and Bhullar have been eliminated by police officials.

“In 2008, CBI also registered a case against Saini that was later quashed by the Supreme Court,” plea has said.

It was alleged that when COVID-19 was at a peak, under “a politically motivated conspiracy an FIR was registered against Saini on same facts by the state government”.

The plea also said that the applicant during his tenure as Inspector General of Police, Intelligence, Punjab was instrumental in unearthing “a major corruption network” related to the then Chairman of the Punjab Public Service Commission.

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