SC stays Punjab HC order for setting up SIT to probe Chandigarh police

New Delhi, March 17 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Friday stayed a Punjab and Haryana High Court order, which directed registration of an FIR and setting up of a special investigation team (SIT) of Punjab Police to probe into the alleged abduction of a dentist by Chandigarh police to stop him from appearing in a court.

Additional Solicitor General K.M. Nataraj submitted before a bench of Justices A.S. Bopanna and Hima Kohli, how could the high court, while hearing an anticipatory bail application, order an FIR against police officials. He also noted that the high court also ordered for a probe by a SIT of Punjab Police, which is totally without any jurisdiction.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan, representing Mohit Dhawan, argued that this is one of the worst cases of police excesses he has seen. The high court had passed the order on Dhawan’s plea.

Bhushan said his client, a Chandigarh-based dentist, had filed a suit for recovering some dues owed to him by a woman from Nairobi for her treatment and as a result, he was implicated in a series of complaints about improper treatment. Bhushan contended that the high court order shows the police filed contradictory affidavits.

The bench sought a response from Dhawan and added that the case needs to be considered at length, while staying the high court order. It also directed Chandigarh police to preserve the records, including CCTV footage, and call details, pertaining to the case. The top court has scheduled the matter for further hearing after five weeks.

During the hearing, Bhushan submitted that three separate complaints were filed against his client and in two of them, he managed to get anticipatory bail but in the third, he was asked to be present before a magistrate. However, on the day of the hearing, a team of Chandigarh crime branch police “abducted” Dhawan, while another team marked their appearance in court, said Bhushan.

Earlier this week, the apex court had agreed to take up the plea of Chandigarh police. According to the Chandigarh administration, a Nairobi national accused Dhawan of cheating her when she came to India during 2017-18 to get dental implants from his clinic.

When Dhawan went to mark his presence before a magistrate’s court, the Chandigarh police team allegedly abducted him. However, the police have claimed that he was arrested in connection with another case.

Earlier this month, the high court asked the Punjab DGP to constitute the SIT within a week to probe the matter.

–IANS

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