The Supreme Court on Thursday granted pre-arrest bail to ADG-rank police officer in Chhattisgarh Gurjinder Pal Singh, who was charged with sedition and promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion.
The Bench, led by Chief Justice N. V. Ramana and also comprising Justice Surya Kant observed, “Police officers in order to be in ‘good books’ of Governments, misuse power over their political opponents and then, when the same opponents come to power, they target these officers.”
Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi appeared for the state of Chhattisgarh and submitted, “Gurjinder Pal Singh was the top officer of the state and now he is hiding”
Senior Advocate Fali S Nariman appeared for the former cop and submitted that he was never called by the police for investigation and the charge sheet was also not served to him.
Now that the investigation is completed, there is no need to arrest the petitioner, added Mr Nariman.
The bench then granted four weeks’ time to the State to file the counter affidavit and ordered that no coercive steps be taken against Singh till then.
The city police have registered a sedition case against Singh, based on a written complaint filed by the anti-corruption bureau (ACB). The anti-graft body reportedly seized alleged documents from Singh that were suggestive of a conspiracy against the government.
The Kotwali police station has registered the case under Sections 124-A, 153-A (that deals with sedition and treason) of IPC against the 1994-batch IPS officer, who was earlier suspended by the state government on July 5.
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The ACB sleuths carried out raids for three days at 15 premises and properties linked to the IPS officer, following complaints over disproportionate assets.
After registering of the case, Singh has been missing from his Raipur home. “We came to know that he has left for Bilaspur, but we are verifying the same. His location cannot be traced at the moment,” said an ACB officer.