NEW DELHI: The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Wednesday issued a Lookout Circular (LOC) against Shiromani Akali Dal MLA Bikram Singh Majithia a day after an FIR was registered against him in an old drugs case.
Bikram Singh Majithia, a former Punjab minister and senior SAD leader, has been booked under the NDPS Act, triggering allegations of ‘political vendetta’ from his party.
A case against Majithia under various sections of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act was registered on the basis of a 2018 status report of probe into the drug racket in the state.
The report was filed by anti-drug special task force (STF) chief Harpreet Singh Sidhu in the Punjab and Haryana High Court in 2018. Majithia is the brother-in-law of Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal and brother of former Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal.
The 49-page FIR was registered by the state Crime Branch at its Mohali police station under various sections of the NDPS Act. The sections include 25 (punishment for allowing one’s premises for its use for the commission of an offence), 27 A (for financing sale, purchase, production, manufacture, possession, transportation, use or consumption, import and export or any act pertaining to narcotics) and 29 (for abetting or plotting an offence).
The FIR noted that the legal opinion of Punjab’s advocate general too was taken before registering it. ”On the basis of this status report of the STF along with the opinion of the advocate general, a cognizable offence is made out and therefore a case be registered and investigated,” the FIR noted.
The FIR stated that the case shall be investigated by a special investigation team for which orders are being issued separately. The STF report pending with the high court was based on confessional statements given by some accused, including Jagjit Singh Chahal, Jagdish Singh Bhola and Maninder Singh Aulakh, of the 2013 multi-crore drug racket case, given to the Enforcement Directorate.
In this case, Majithia was also questioned by the ED in December 2014 when he was the minister in the Akali government. ”As per the findings, prima facie there is sufficient evidence on record to further investigate the role of Shri Bikram Singh Majithia as regards the allegations made in the application under scrutiny,” said the FIR.
Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi said the state government is committed to taking legal action against drug traffickers and delivering justice to Punjabis.
Talking to reporters in Muktsar, SAD patron Parkash Singh Badal said, ”We already knew it.” He said the Congress government changed three state police chiefs to book and arrest Badals and Majithia.
Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu welcomed the registration of the FIR against Majithia, claiming, in a series of tweets, that it was possible due to his over five-year-long fight with the ”corrupt system run by Badal Family & Captain and a delay of four years” due to inaction on the ”ED & STF report against Majithia”.
A few days ago, the Channi government had faced an embarrassment when the letter of Additional Director General of Police SK Asthana to the then state police chief Iqbal Preet Singh Sahota had surfaced on social media.
Asthana had cited some legal hurdles in conducting reinvestigation in drug cases against Majithia.