Sumedh Saini’s DGP appointment: Court puts Punjab, CBI on notice

Chandigarh, Punjab: Punjab’s attempts to scuttle the move of a human rights organisation to challenge IPS officer Sumedh Singh Saini’s appointment as the Director General of Police today failed to find favour with the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Its objections notwithstanding at the current stage, the court put the Central Bureau of Investigation and the State of Punjab on notice on the petition challenging Saini’s appointment on the ground that he was facing a criminal trial in an abduction case. A notice has also been issued to Saini.

At the very onset, Punjab Additional Advocate-General Rupinder Khosla objected to the petition filed in public interest by Voices for Freedom through its director-cum-advocate Simranjit Singh.

Khosla, in fact, made attempts to connect the organisation with militant activity — an objection that did not cut much ice with the Bench. Taking note of his assertions, the Bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Mahesh Grover said: “While issuing the notice, we have also considered the objections raised by Rupinder Khosla, who has placed before the court a write-up on the antecedents and activities of the PIL petitioner and has also stated that the website of the organisations goes to show that the said organisation is providing a platform to terrorist organisations.”

The Bench said: “At this stage, we are not called upon to consider the said objections raised by Rupinder Khosla on behalf of the State of Punjab… If objections, as may be raised by the State of Punjab, are found to be tenable, naturally the court would pass appropriate orders in the matter on the returnable date”.

Petitioner Simranjit Singh is also seeking an inquiry against “persons concerned who withheld material records of Saini at the time of his promotion”.

Going into the background of the matter, the petitioner contended: “On the basis of allegations that Saini is involved in the abduction and physical liquidation of three persons some time in the year 1994, this court referred the investigation against him to the CBI. After detailed investigation, it filed a report confirming the abduction and physical liquidation of three persons and accordingly a chargesheet was filed and sanction was accorded by the competent authorities.”

The Saini Case

Punjab Director General of Police Sumedh Singh Saini was allegedly involved in the abduction and physical liquidation of three persons in 1994.

Petitioner’s Plea

“…(can) a person who is facing trial before the CBI court for abduction be treated as having very good record for the purpose of being appointed to the post of DGP?”

State’s Contention

The petitioner, Voices for Freedom, linked with militant activity
The organisation’s website shows it provides a platform to terrorist organisations

Source: TNS

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