Tribune News Service
New Delhi, October 14
The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the state of Punjab to respond to a petition filed by former police chief Sumedh Singh Saini’s petition challenging a Punjab and Haryana High Court order dismissing his plea for quashing of the FIR in the 1991 Balwant Singh Multani murder case.
A Bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan—which asked the Punjab government to file its response to Saini’s petition in three weeks and gave one week to the former DGP to file his rejoinder—posted the matter for further hearing after four weeks.
Saini was represented by senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi while senior advocate Gopal Subramanium appeared for the state of Punjab.
Earlier, the matter was adjourned as the impugned order of the high court was not on record.
Saini had moved the Supreme Court last month challenging a Punjab and Haryana High Court order dismissing his plea for quashing of the FIR in the 1991 Multani murder case.
The Supreme Court had on September 15 granted him interim protection from arrest and posted his plea for anticipatory bail for hearing after four weeks. The Punjab and Haryana High Court had on September 7 dismissed his anticipatory bail plea.
“This case is of 1991. After 30 years what is the hurry to arrest him… We will grant you time to file a reply,” the Bench had said, adding he will not be arrested till further orders.
However, the top court had asked Saini to co-operate with the Punjab Police in the investigation of the case.
Multani—a junior engineer with Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Corporation—was allegedly picked up by the police in December 1991 after a terror attack on Saini that left three policemen killed. Saini was injured in the attack.
Saini’s troubles started in May when he was booked at a police station in Mohali along with six others for the alleged kidnapping of Multani in 1991. Murder charge was added in August after two of the accused policemen spilled the beans.
Rohatgi had contended before the top court that Punjab government was after Saini because he had filed two chargesheets in which current Chief Minister Capt Amarinder was an accused. “This is why they are after me,” he had submitted.
Saini is also facing trial in a Special CBI Court in Delhi along with three others for alleged abduction and disappearance of automobile businessman Vinod Kumar, his brother-in-law Ashok Kumar and their driver Mukhtiyar Singh in 1994.