Arresting rivals to stop them from contesting in polls, we are in a democracy: Supreme Court On Monday, the Supreme Court protected Shirmoi Akali Dal’s (SAD) functionary Bikram Singh Majithia from getting arrested till February 23 in a drug trafficking case. Supreme Court told the Charanjit Singh Channi led congress government in Punjab that democratic governments must not target opposition during election time with criminal cases to prevent them from contesting the election. A bench comprising of CJI N.V. Ramana, Justice A.S. Bopanna, and Hima Kohli ordered to pardon the case against Majithia, against whom an FIR was filed on 20th of December under the NDPS Act for the offence which was allegedly committed between 2004 and 2015. The interval or pause in the case will be resumed after the 20th of February once the Punjab election will be over. This has allowed Majithia to campaign against Navjot Singh Sidhu in the latters’ stronghold seat of Amritsar East. The bench has asked Bikram Singh Majathia to surrender before the trial court on 23rd February. The court further asked to move a regular bail plea on the said date and the case would be considered expeditiously following the law of the land.
The bench of the apex court feared over election-eve FIRs being registered in Punjab. It is important to mention here that another MLA named Simarjeet Singh Bains has moved an anticipatory bail petition and alleged that the FIR was filed to stop him from contesting forthcoming elections. According to the bench led by CJI Ramana, the FIR was fabricated in the final minute to stop the MLA from filing nominations. This bench further noted that these circumstances are developing just before the elections in our country. This makes sure for everyone to imagine the involvement of political intentions. The Counsel for the State, Senior Advocate P Chidambaram mentioned while arguing that: “The fact about the case is that Punjab right now is vanishing beneath drug commerce. Until the government ship, a message that the danger from the drug might be managed severely and won’t political backing, the way forward for the youth of Punjab is damned”. The Senior Advocate apologized for his language.
The CJI Ramana mentioned that the court has no problem with the state authorities in dealing with drug syndicates in Punjab. The fact that the polls are just 2 months away and filing up of this FIR appears to be suspicious. The court has no intention to interfere in the matter of Punjab State police, they just asked them to allow the accused to do election campaigning. In India, elections are conducted as festivals. There were many instances where the ruling party has falsely accused the leaders of opposition parties and charged them with false cases. The instance of filing of FIR against SAD functionary Bikram Singh Majithi looks like the same instance. But the fact that the accused is a drug mafia cannot be ignored. The reason for raising questions against the FIR was the timing. The Punjab elections are going to begin on the 20th of February and it will end on the 10th of March.
Tags : #PunjalElections #SupremeCourt