Punjab free to inquire you or anyone in drugs: Fazilka court told Khaira in April

| Updated: 29 September, 2023 7:08 pm IST
Sukhpal Khaira arrested and sent to two day custody in 2015 Fazilka drug case

NEW DELHI: Punjab Congress MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira was arrested during the wee hours of Thursday in a 2015 case related to the NDPS act and the recovery of drugs and expensive jewelry worth crores in Fazilka district.

The opposition Congress was quick to term it a political vendetta. However, a close look at his past reveals a web of FIRs registered against Khaira.

Khaira, who represents the Bholath constituency, has been arrested in a 2015 drug seizure case.

But why did the police arrest him after eight years?

The current case against Khaira relates to the seizure of 2kgs of heroin, 24 gold biscuits, and illegal weapons worth crores of rupees near Fazilka, a district on the India-Pakistan border of Punjab from a car allegedly owned by him.

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Initially, 11 people were accused in the case, and Khaira was not in the list. However, further investigations found a link between the accused and him. Subsequently, he was summoned by a Fazilka-based trial court, which he challenged in the Supreme Court that he claims was quashed in February this year.

Exclusive document listing the initial accused in the 2015 Fazilka drug case

Based on this order, the trial court dropped the proceedings against Khaira in April and returned his passport. However, it gave liberty to probe agencies and the police to pursue him if they find any evidence against him in the future.

“The proceedings of this case arising out of the summoning order dated 31.10.2017 under Section 319 Cr.P.C pronounced by learned predecessor of this Court, stands dropped without prejudice to the right of State/ investigating agency/ SIT to carry out any investigation/ inquiry with regard to the involvement of the applicants and other suspects in the smuggling of drugs or to present charge sheet under Section 173 Cr.PC,” the order by Jagmohan Singh Sanghe, judge, Fazilka court said on April 23.

Fazilka court order copy pronounced by Judge Jagmohan Singh Sanghe in April on Sukhpal Khaira’s appeal

Apart from Khaira, his PSO Joga Singh, his PA Manish, and two other additional accused, Charanjeet Kaur and Major Singh Bajwa are also being investigated.

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These people were made the additional accused by the Special Investigation Team (SIT), based on their investigation of the case wherein 11 people were made accused initially. Of these 11, nine were convicted, one was acquitted and the remaining one was absconding at the time hence facing a separate hearing.

As per the documents accessed by The New Indian, Khaira is a serial offender, who has several FIRs filed against him over the last 40 years. Charges against him range from possessing illegal arms, robbery, and rioting to causing hurt by dangerous weapons.

A list of FIR’s against Sukhpal Khaira from 1984 to 2023 accessed by The New Indian

According to a Chandigarh-based lawyer, Khaira is trying to circumvent the investigation for long. “It can only be considered injustice if he is punished without investigation, but in this case, he is trying to bypass trial at lower courts and act innocent,” said Advocate Harsimran Singh Ghuman Rana.

He was previously arrested in 2021 by the Enforcement Directorate under the sections of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) for his alleged links with rackets selling drugs and arranging fake passports.

After his arrest, he and his well-wishers alleged vendetta politics for criticizing CM Bhagwant Mann and Rajya Sabha MP from Punjab, Raghav Chadha.

Similar allegations were made in 2021 at the time of his arrest by the ED when he was serving as an AAP MLA. Khaira had then said that he was arrested at the directions of the BJP because he opposed three farm laws.

 

 

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