Chandigarh: From shut hyperlinks with drug smugglers to even facilitating the availability of medicine, the Particular Process Power (STF) appointed by the Congress authorities has made a number of critical claims in opposition to key Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) chief Bikram Singh Majithia in its 2018 report.

The three-year-old report grew to become the premise for the Punjab police to register a case in opposition to Majithia below the Narcotic Medicine and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act on Tuesday, which has already triggered a disagreement between the  Congress and the SAD.

Whereas SAD spokesperson Daljit Singh Cheema rubbished the report as baseless, it was reproduced within the 49-page FIR in opposition to Majithia, who’s the brother-in-law of SAD president Sukhbir Badal. It says the statements of different accused level to Majithia’s involvement within the multi-crore drug racket – however the allegations want additional investigation.

The racket was recognized within the winter of 2013, with the arrest of wrestler Jagdish Singh Bhola. Bhola’s nexus with these in energy corridors started to unravel when the Enforcement Directorate (ED) began a parallel investigation to discover a path of revenue earned from the unlawful drug enterprise.

Bhola, who in 2019 was convicted and was awarded 24 years of imprisonment, had first admitted his position within the racket in a press release to the ED in 2014.

Throughout his interrogation, he named a number of others who he mentioned have been a part of the racket, together with native businessmen like Jagjit Chahal and Bittu Aulakh, NRIs corresponding to Satpreet Singh alias Satta, Parminder Singh alias Pindi and Amrinder Singh alias Laddi.

Essentially the most explosive title that he accused of involvement was Majithia, the then income minister within the SAD-BJP authorities

Whereas the probe into the allegations in opposition to Majithia remained slow-paced throughout the SAD-BJP authorities (2007-2017), the ED’s inside notes on him have been shared by the Punjab and Haryana excessive courtroom with the STF that the Congress appointed quickly after profitable the 2017 meeting polls.

The report that the STF submitted to the excessive courtroom in 2018, which has since then been in a sealed cowl, has now come to life with elections on the horizon.

With the case in opposition to Majithia coming so near the elections, the SAD has solid aspersions on the intent whereas the Aam Aadmi Social gathering (AAP) additionally referred to as it “mere election drama”.

Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu, however, is taking credit score for the police taking motion on the STF report. He mentioned the report was intentionally saved dormant by former Congress chief minister Amarinder Singh. Issues moved quick after Singh was dethroned in September this 12 months, claimed Sidhu.

Amarinder Singh nonetheless denied these fees and mentioned there was a technical problem to behave on the report because it was not but unsealed. He additionally mentioned on Wednesday that the case in opposition to Majithia “is not going to stand authorized scrutiny as the federal government had not adopted due technique of legislation”.

However Sidhu claimed that there was no bar from the HC to behave on the STF report, a degree that has been backed up by the state’s not too long ago appointed advocate normal in his authorized opinion submitted to the Punjab police earlier than the case in opposition to Majithia was registered.

The Punjab police on Wednesday fashioned a particular investigative crew below the AIG (crime) Balraj Singh to research the case.

On Wednesday, the Union authorities issued a lookout discover in opposition to Majithia to forestall him from leaving India, on the request of the Punjab police.

The SAD’s Daljit Cheema instructed The Wire that the lookout discover was “mere drama”. He mentioned, “Majithia could be very a lot in Punjab and can combat the Congress’s vendetta.”

Punjab and Haryana excessive courtroom. Picture: PTI

What did the STF discover?

The STF delved into 4 main questions whereas inquiring into Majithia’s alleged position within the racket.

The primary was to search out if he had an affiliation with Satpreet Singh alias Satta, Maninder Singh Aulakh alias Bittu Aulakh, Parminder Singh alias Pindi, Amrinder Singh alias Laddi and Jagjit Chahal (names that cropped up throughout Bhola’s interrogation).

The STF report claimed that after analysing the statements given by a number of accused to each the ED and the Punjab police, it’s clear that Majithia had a detailed and prolonged relationship with Satta, a Canadian citizen, and others.

It added that the allegations that Satta used to reside in Majithia’s home (every time he visited India) and obtained automobiles and safety from Majithia are plausible. As per the report, Majithia was additionally well-known to Aulakh and Chahal and likewise admitted to figuring out them each.

The statements of Jagdish Bhola, Chahal and Aulakh earlier than the ED point out that Pindi and Laddi, NRIs from Canada, too had a reference to Majithia.

The second query was to search out if Satta, Bittu Aulakh, Pindi, Laddi and Chahal have been concerned in drug commerce. The STF mentioned that their involvement was not in query as they have been already prosecuted by the Punjab police in numerous trafficking circumstances. The ED has additionally filed circumstances in opposition to a few of them, it mentioned.

Additional, the STF quoted the ED standing report dated August 17, 2016 to disclose that Satta together with Pindi and Laddi have been concerned in drug smuggling and cash laundering referring to the revenue out of drug enterprise.

The method to extradite them, sources mentioned within the Punjab police mentioned, might quickly be began. Eight different extradition requests in opposition to alleged “drug lords” who’re overseas are already pending the approval of the Canadian authorities, a latest notice from the Union authorities knowledgeable the excessive courtroom.

Whereas answering the third and essential query of whether or not Majithia had any position in facilitating the drug commerce, the STF claimed that after analysing all statements collectively, it’s evident that the SAD chief had a job in facilitating the availability of pseudoephedrine (an ingredient used to make artificial medicine) to Satta and Pindi.

He additionally requested Chahal to straight provide pseudoephedrine to the above individuals and likewise by means of Aulakh, it mentioned.

On this matter, the information and intention on the a part of Majithia to provide medicine to Satta and Pindi could be very a lot clear, said the STF report.

The report, nonetheless, mentioned Majithia denied the cost. Due to this fact, Satta and Pindi should be questioned on this matter to “unearth the precise technique of their felony actions and complicity with numerous individuals”.

On the final query of financial transactions between Majithia and the accused, the STF report claimed that that the analysis of the assertion of Jagjit Singh Chahal earlier than the ED revealed {that a} cost of Rs 35 lakh was allegedly made to Majithia in about seven-eight instalments between 2007-2012 as he required these funds for election functions. Chahal said that Majithia acquired funds in Canada as effectively.

As per the STF report, since Majithia denied these allegations, the matter relating to financial transactions must be investigated additional. The investigation additionally must deal with whether or not funds, if acquired, have been transferred overseas or acquired overseas and whether or not they have been transformed into different belongings.

The STF additionally mentioned that Chahal had claimed that Majithia was concerned within the sand mining enterprise with Aulakh and MLA Amarpal ‘Bony’ Ajnala. Aulakh additionally made the identical allegation. The report mentioned that Majithia’s alleged involvement within the sand mining enterprise whereas being a minister within the authorities is a big situation and must be verified by means of an investigation.

“Due to this fact the topic whether or not funds from the alleged drug commerce have been additionally invested/utilised/held in widespread with funds from the alleged sand mining enterprise deserves a probe,” the report mentioned.

SAD’s slams case

The SAD on Wednesday, December 22, charged the Congress authorities of utilizing the ‘private opinion’ of the STF in-charge Harpreet Singh Sidhu to register the case. The officer is expounded to Majithia and “had an axe to grind with him”, the social gathering mentioned.

Addressing a press convention right here, SAD spokesperson Parambans Singh Romana mentioned Sidhu had admitted that he was associated to Majithia they usually weren’t on talking phrases for 15 years.

“The officer has admitted that he primarily based his report on the file of the Enforcement Directorate. If this is so, the ED was competent to file a challan in opposition to Majithia in case that they had discovered something incriminating in opposition to him. They didn’t achieve this,” mentioned Romana, in accordance with information company UNI.

Romana additionally mentioned that the trial within the Jagdish Bhola case had led to January 2019.  “Even convictions have been finished within the case with Bhola and one Jagjit Chahal being convicted even because the third accused Bittu Aulakh was acquitted,” he added. Regardless of this, the police say Bittu Aulakh was instrumental in making the accused individuals meet Majithia, the SAD spokesperson mentioned.

He added that after Chahal and Aulakh had approached the excessive courtroom, a three-member SIT was constituted to revisit all of the circumstances and submit its report. The courtroom had additionally directed the SIT to exonerate any accused if wanted and add recent accused if any had been disregarded.

“The SIT filed ten supplementary challans within the case and likewise submitted its last report. This must also be made public,” Romana mentioned.

He claimed that the complete case in opposition to Majithia was fabricated. “Two DGPs have been modified and a 3rd DGP – S. Chattopadhyay – was appointed to the submit even supposing he was ineligible as his title was not even shortlisted for appointment as a daily DGP by the UPSC,” Romana mentioned.

The UPSC had even scheduled a gathering for the appointment of a daily DGP 4 days after Chattopadhyay’s appointment however the Punjab authorities selected to nominate him nonetheless, the SAD chief mentioned. This level’s to a quid-pro-quo association below which the police officer was charged with the duty of registering a false case in opposition to Majithia, the spokesperson added.

In the meantime, Majithia has utilized for anticipatory bail in a Mohali courtroom.

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