24 hrs after he was arrested, HC orders immediate release of Punjab ex-DGP

The detailed order was awaited till the time of this report going to print.

Hours before he was arrested, Saini had moved the high court seeking directions for extension of protection of seven day notice/ blanket bail to him in all cases while submitting that Punjab government has flouted the orders already passed by the HC.

On Thursday, the arguments in the two cases — the application filed by Saini for extension of protection to him in all cases and a habeas corpus plea filed for his release — continued throughout the day in the court of Justice Arun Kumar Tyagi.

Saini’s lawyers — senior advocates Vinod Ghai and APS Deol, along with advocates Kanika Ahuja , Himmat Singh Deol, Jasdev Singh Mehndiratta, and Kirti Ahuja — contended that the retired DGP was arrested by the vigilance bureau in violation of three earlier orders of the high court — dated October 11, 2018, September 23, 2020 and an anticipatory bail granted to Saini on August 12 this year.

Earlier, the high court had in its October 11, 2018 order had directed that Saini will be served a seven day advance notice if any action was being contemplated against him. On September 23, 2020, the HC had extended the protection of order dated October 11, 2018, to any incident pertaining to Saini’s entire service career. The bench had also made it clear that the only exception would be the Multani murder case registered by the Punjab Police on May 6, 2020.

In the application filed before the HC, Saini through his lawyers, expressed apprehension of false implication in criminal cases on account of malice, malafides and ulterior motives attributed to the political party in power in Punjab. His lawyers contended that despite HC order that he be served a week’s advance notice before effecting arrest, the officials were making attempts to arrest him by implicating him in false cases.

The Vigilance Bureau on Wednesday had arrested Saini in a case registered in Mohali on September 17, 2020 on charges of cheating, forgery and other offences under Sections 409, 420, 467, 468, 471 and 120- B of the IPC and the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

On Thursday, Vigilance Bureau produced Saini before the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate Pamelpreet Grewal Kahal. The Vigilance Bureau was seeking his police custody. Till midnight, Saini remained at the Mohali court awaiting a copy of the release order from the high court.

Meanwhile, the Vigilance Bureau also arrested two more persons in the case. They include Davinder Singh Sandhu, senior director of World Wide Immigration Consultancy Services (WWICS), and Shakti Sagar, a government employee. While Sandhu was arrested from Mohali, Sagar was picked up from Amritsar.

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