HC stays proceedings against approver
Chandigarh October 30:
Just over a month after Randhir Singh alias Dheera and another accused were directed to face trial in two FIRs registered in 2002 in Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC) cash-for-job scam, the Punjab and Haryana High Court today stayed further proceedings till further orders.
Taking up a petition filed through counsel Baldev Singh, Justice Jaswant Singh also issued notice of motion to the state of Punjab for December 1. Dheera was among nine accused in the alleged recruitment scam. He was initially accused of entering into a criminal conspiracy with PPSC chairman Ravinder Pal Singh Sidhu. He is alleged to have obtained illegal gratification to show favour to a candidate in his selection as a DSP. Dheera had later turned approver in one of the FIRs.
Patiala sessions judge by an order issued on July 25, 2002, had granted pardon to both Dheera and co-petitioner Prem Sagar. In all, three FIRs were registered. Counsel Baldev Singh, in their plea before Justice Jaswant Singh, contended both the petitioners supported the statements, on the basis of which they were made approvers. As such, “there was no question of any violation of any condition of contract”. But Patiala sessions judge, vide impugned order dated September 27, recalled the earlier order dated July 25, 2002, and directed their trial.
The sessions judge also summoned them through non-bailable warrants of arrest for October 29. Describing the order as “illegal, manifestly wrong, perverse and without jurisdiction, Baldev Singh contended the special judge observed the petitioners had resiled from their statements in the two FIRs. They have, as such, violated the conditions on which the pardon was granted. Seeking the quashing of the impugned order, he added the two cases were registered after granting pardon to the petitioners.