Tribune News Service
New Delhi, November 25
The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to transfer the 2015 Bathinda Guru Granth Sahib sacrilege case trial outside Punjab.
A Bench headed by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, however, asked the trial court to ensure a free and fair trial.
The top court dismissed a petition filed by six accused who had expressed apprehension of prejudice in the trial in Punjab. They had claimed that they faced a threat to their lives in the state.
Eight Dera Sacha Sauda members were charged with sacrilege for allegedly tearing Guru Granth Sahib and throwing it on the ground.
Last week, Manohar Lal, father of sacrilege case accused Jatinderbir S Jimmy, was shot dead at Bhagta Bhai Ka in Bathinda.
Manohar Lal was at his shop when two persons opened fire. Seriously injured, he was rushed to hospital where he was declared ‘brought dead’, police said.
In 2018, a Special Investigation Team had arrested Jimmy from Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi. He is currently out on bail.
The FIR in the matter was registered at Baja Khana police station on June 2, 2015, after a “bir” of Guru Granth Sahib was stolen from a gurdwara at Burj Jawahar Singh Wala.
On October 12, torn pages of the “bir” were found in Bargari. During the protests that followed, two Sikh men died in police firing at Behbal Kalan village on October 14.
Later on October 20 that year, around 157 pages of Guru Granth Sahib were found scattered at different places in the village and as per the police, these pages were of the same “bir” that was stolen from a gurdwara in Burj Jawahar Singh Wala village in Faridkot.
The Supreme Court had on February 20 this year dismissed the CBI’s petition against the Punjab and Haryana High Court’s 2019 order refusing to interfere with the Punjab government decision to take back all sacrilege cases from the central probe agency.
A Bench headed by Justice R F Nariman had rejected the CBI’s petition on the ground of delay while leaving the question of law open.