A Faridkot court Saturday acquitted Punjab Deputy Chief Minister and SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal in a case registered against him in 2006 in connection with poll violence in 1999.
The case came up for hearing before judicial magistrate Satish Kumar who acquitted Sukhbir for want of evidence.
Sukhbir was present in the court when the verdict was pronounced.
Naresh Sehgal, a journalist, had filed a case against Sukhbir and a few others in connection with the poll violence that took place in Kotkapura in 1999 when Sukhbir had contested the Sehgal had accused Sukhbir of assault apart from snatching his camera while he was clicking photographs at polling station number 28 in Kotkapura’s Dharamshala area.
Sukhbir’s advocate, Shivkaran Singh Sekhon, said the case was false and registered in June 2006 during the Congress government’s tenure when Captain Amarinder Singh was chief minister.
After the verdict, Sukhbir said, “I had full faith in judiciary and I am happy that truth has prevailed.”
Sehgal, meanwhile, said he was unhappy with the decision. “I had given all evidence along with my complaint. Moreover, the verdict was pronounced in a closed-door court where I was not allowed. I have already filed a revision complaint in the court of additional session judge Rajwinder Kaur with the plea that I was not allowed inside the court.”
He said the additional session judge has summoned Sukhbir on his latest complaint on April 5. “My case seeking a CBI probe is also pending in high court. I will challenge this decision in the high court and, if needed, even in the Supreme Court as well.”
Sources said the court had called out Sehgal’s name but he was not present. The journalist, however, alleged that police officers did not allow him to go inside the court and the security staff threatened him of dire consequences.
Following Sehgal’s complaint in 1999, a first inquiry was conducted by the then Senior Superintedent of Police (SSP) Amardeep Singh Rai.
Advocate Sekhon said the SSP had submitted an affidavit in the Punjab and Haryana High Court that no such incident had happened
However, in June 2006, the high court had ordered to take action if any cognizable offence had taken place, following which the then SSP, Faridkot, Arun Pal lodged an FIR against Sukhbir and his supporters on June 30, 2006 on charges of attempt to murder charges and robbery (IPC 307, 392 and 323).”
“The challan of this case was produced in session court in September 2006 in which section 307 was dropped,” said Sekhon.