HC questions Punjab govt for stopping CBI probe in sacrilege incidents
A plea was filed in Punjab and Haryana High Court on Wednesday challenging a Punjab Assembly resolution passed in August this year for taking back investigation of sacrilege incidents from the CBI.
Justice Rajan Gupta, while issuing a notice to Punjab government, fixed November 2 for hearing the matter.
Petitioner Shamsher Singh, a head constable and gunman of former Moga SSP Charanjit Singh, contended that the resolution was "unsustainable" as no reasons had been assigned therein for reviewing the decision taken earlier to handover the investigation to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
Punjab government, represented by Deputy Advocate General Sahil Sharma assured the High Court that the state shall apprise the court about the status of the investigation being conducted by Special Investigation Team (SIT) and also submitted that no final report shall be filed before any court without prior permission of this court.
Petitioner's counsel Santpal Singh Sidhu said, "We have challenged the resolution passed by the Punjab Assembly for withdrawing probe into sacrilege incidents from the CBI."
"We have further prayed that the matter should only be probed by CBI," he said adding that fair investigation is a fundamental right of the petitioner.
After the court asked about the scope of judicial review of a decision taken by a legislative assembly, the council said that legislative entities were not immune from judicial review. The validity of the action of the legislature is subject to judicial review if it trespasses on the fundamental rights conferred on the citizens, he said.
Punjab Assembly had on August 28 this year passed the unanimous resolution for withdrawal of investigation into sacrilege incidents of Guru Granth Sahib from the CBI and handing over the cases to SIT in Punjab police.
Later, the state government issued fresh notifications for the withdrawal of sacrilege cases from the CBI which was probing the alleged theft of a 'bir' (copy of Guru Granth Sahib) from Burj Jawahar Singh Wala village in Kotkapura; a poster pasted at Bargari village and the alleged sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib in the same village in 2015.
The state government formed a five-member special investigation team (SIT), headed by Prabodh Kumar, Director, Bureau of Investigations (BOI), to probe sacrilege and related police firing incidents.
(With inputs from agencies.)