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High court to pronounce order on petition challenging DGP Sumedh Saini’s appointment

April 11, 2013 | By

Chandigarh, Punjab (April 11, 2013): It is expected that the Punjab and Haryana high court would pronounce its judgment on the tenability of Sumedh Singh Saini’s appointment as Punjab’s director general of police (DGP) in the face of an ongoing criminal trial against him on April 11, 2013.

Sumedh Saini – DGP Punjab

It is notable that the division bench comprising chief justice Arjan Kumar Sikri and justice Rakesh Kumar Jain had reserved its judgment in the case on February 4, 2013.

The case had been pending adjudication for the past 12 months in the high court as it was in April 2012 that a non-governmental organisation (NGO), Voices for Freedom, had challenged Sumedh Saini’s appointment to the DGP’s post on March 14, 2012.

The petitioner had pleaded that in the 1994-95 Ludhiana ‘abduction and killing’ of three persons, the special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court had in 2006 chargesheeted Saini and other accused under sections 364 (kidnapping or abducting in order to murder), 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 341 (wrongful restraint) and 342 (wrongful confinement) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), adding that the trial was still pending in the court.

However, on October 16, 2012, discarding the NGO as a petitioner in the public interest litigation on the ground that the NGO did not have the locus standi (legal right to be heard), the high court had taken suo motu notice of the issue to pursue it further, stating that “the issue is of substantial importance”.

Punjab government led by Parkash Singh Badal had backed the appointment of Sumedh Saini as DGP of Punjab despite allegations of mass level human rights abuses committed by Saini during 1980s-90s.

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