Monday, June 17, 2024

Supreme Court quashes summons issued to Parkash Singh Badal, Sukhbir Badal, Daljit Cheema in cheating case

The Supreme Court on Friday gave clean chit to former Chief Minister of Punjab Parkash Singh Badal, his son and Shiromani Akali Dal President Sukhbir Singh Badal, along with SAD vice-president Daljit Singh Cheema in an alleged forgery case over the political party’s dual constitutions

Quashing summoning orders issued by the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the Bench of Justice M.R. Shah and Justice C.T. Ravikumar noted that the accused had been summoned to face the trial but none of the ingredients of the offences (cheating and forgery) were made out against them.

It said the summoning order was nothing, but an ‘abuse of law’.

The Apex Court further set aside the High Court verdict and observed that the High Court should have quashed the proceedings then and there. 

The Bench further clarified that it had not expressed anything on the Constitution of the Shiromani Akali Dal and hence, the pending proceedings before the Election Commission of India (ECI) should not be influenced by this court’s judgment.

Five-times Chief Minister of Punjab and SAD veteran Parkash Singh Badal passed away on April 25 at a private hospital in Mohali.

In November last year, the Apex Court had stayed proceedings in the matter before a Punjab court and issued notice.

Social activist Balwant Singh Khera had filed a case against the Badals and Cheema, accusing their party of submitting separate constitutions with the Gurdwara Election Commission and the ECI. 

The Hoshiarpur resident had filed the criminal complaint before an Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate in 2009, alleging that on one hand, the party claimed to be a secular party and gave a declaration to abide by the principles of secularism in its constitution filed before ECI.

However, on the other hand, it was contesting elections for a religious body, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), thereby giving it the colour of a religious party, the plea by Khera pointed out.

The Badals, along with Cheema, moved the present plea before the Apex Court challenging the proceedings before the Magistrate.

Senior Advocate R.S. Cheema appeared for Sukhbir Singh Badal, while Parkash Singh Badal was represented by Senior Advocate K.V. Viswanathan. Advocate Sandeep Kapur represented Daljit Singh Cheema.

The petitions were filed through Karanjawala & Co, while the brief was led by Senior Partners Nandini Gore and Sandeep Kapur with Advocates Virinder Pal Singh Sandhu, Aditi Bhatt, Tarannum Cheema, Tahira Karanjawala, Niharika Karanjawala, Apoorva Pandey, Arjun Sharma, Abhimanshu Dhyani, Yash Dubey, G Kashyap, Sanya Dua and Rose Verma.

(Case title: Sukhbir Singh Badal vs Balwant Khera and Ors)


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