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Punjab drugs case: HC dismisses Majithia's anticipatory bail plea

Majithia will now be approaching the Supreme Court for interim protection from arrest in the case.

Punjab drugs case: HC dismisses Majithias anticipatory bail plea

The Punjab and Haryana high court on Monday dismissed the anticipatory bail plea of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader and former Punjab minister Bikram Singh Majithia in the drugs case registered against him in Mohali on December 20.

Majithia will now be approaching the Supreme Court for interim protection from arrest in the case.

Earlier in the day, the high court bench of justice Lisa Gill heard arguments from both sides and the order was reserved for the pronouncement at 4pm. Though the detailed order is awaited, the pronouncement was made at 4pm.

The high court had on two occasions given interim protection from arrest to Majithia on his plea. On January 10 and 18, it asked him to cooperate in the probe and also imposed some other conditions.

On the last date of hearing on January 18, Punjab Police complained before the high court that Majithia did not cooperate in the probe, even though he joined the investigation on multiple occasions. The state government had roped in former Union minister and Supreme Court lawyer P Chidambaram, while apex court lawyer Mukul Rohtagi with senior advocate RS Cheema represented Majithia.

On January 10, the high court acted on his anticipatory bail plea and asked him to join the probe on January 12. It directed the police not to arrest him. After remaining underground for 20 days, Majithia surfaced a day after the high court gave him interim protection.

He was booked under Sections 25 (punishment for allowing premises), 27 (A) (whoever is financing any activities pertaining to narcotic drugs) and 29 (party to a criminal conspiracy to commit an offence) of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act on December 20.

On December 24, a Mohali court dismissed his anticipatory bail plea.

In his plea, Majithia termed the FIR an "election stunt" and alleged that the Charanjit Singh Channi-led Congress government had changed three Punjab Police chiefs in three months to get this FIR registered. The plea also accused Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu of indulging in "unwarranted propaganda" and deputy chief minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa of demonstrating "intense hatred" towards Majithia.

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