Delhi HC seeks police response on plea in Bagga arrest case

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday asked the city police to respond to their Punjab counterpart’s plea seeking to quash an FIR registered for allegedly abducting BJP leader Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga from his residence here.

Justice Anu Malhotra asked the Delhi government and Mr. Bagga to give their respective replies on the petition filed by Punjab Police. The court has posted the case for further hearing on July 26.

On May 6, the Punjab police arrested Mr. Bagga from his residence in Delhi in relation to an FIR registered in Punjab Cyber Crime, SAS Nagar Mohali, for allegedly fuelling disharmony, unrest and ill-will between different religious groups.

Punjab Police said that one of its team reached Mr. Bagga’s house at around 8 a.m. and effected his arrest while a second team reached the Janakpuri police station to inform and intimate the local police officers about the arrest.

Refuses to cooperate

The Punjab police said their Delhi counterpart refused to cooperate with its second team and illegally detained them. In its petition, the Punjab police said, “Further, to set to naught the arrest and investigation carried out by Punjab Police” against Mr. Bagga, the Delhi police officers lodged a false and fabricated case of kidnapping and trespassing.

The petition claimed that the Delhi policemen obtained a search warrant by concealing the relevant and material facts of lawful arrest of Mr. Bagga and immediately contacted the Haryana police to restrain and stop the Punjab team which was taking Mr. Bagga to produce before the magistrate concerned.

Police team detained

“The Punjab police team, consisting of 12 officers, was detained by the Haryana police and deprived of the lawful custody of the said accused [Mr. Bagga], who was later on handed over to the Delhi police despite producing all the legal documents pertaining to lawful arrest,” the petition said.

Following an order passed by a Delhi court on May 6, the city police obtained the custody of Mr. Bagga from the Haryana police and produced him before another Duty Magistrate at her residence in Gurugram at 11 p.m.

Upon reaching the residence of the Duty Magistrate, the team of lawyers of Punjab Police rang the doorbell at 7.30 p.m., but the door did not open. The Haryana police personnel directed the team of lawyers to wait downstairs near the entrance of the housing tower.

In the meantime, the Delhi police and another team of lawyers for Mr. Bagga entered the residence of the Duty Magistrate through “basement or some other passage and unilaterally conducted the hearing”.

Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, representing the Punjab government, said that the Duty Magistrate passed the order for the release of Mr. Bagga without hearing the Punjab police.

Police chief not party to plea

Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain, appearing for Delhi Police, argued that the Punjab police’s petition was not maintainable as the Delhi Police Commissioner was not made a party to the petition even when serious allegations have been made against the force.

Senior advocate Kirti Uppal, appearing for Mr. Bagga, said, “The entire allegations against me do not incarcerate me for more than three years. Am I a terrorist? You are coming here as if some terrorist is going to run away. This is an effort by a particular political party to show its strength”.

After hearing the parties, the High Court said the Delhi Police Chief be made a separate party in the petition.

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Printable version | Jun 25, 2022 11:48:44 pm |