SC Issues Notice to Punjab Govt Over Bail to Ex-DGP Saini

Sumedh Singh Saini is an accused in a case related to alleged abduction and murder of Balwant Singh Multani in 1991.

2 min read
Sumedh Singh Saini is an accused in a case related to alleged abduction and murder of Balwant Singh Multani in 1991.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday, 14 October, issued a notice to the Punjab government on anticipatory bail plea of former state DGP Sumedh Singh Saini seeking protection from arrest in a case related to alleged abduction and murder of junior engineer Balwant Singh Multani in 1991.

In the previous hearing on 15 September, too, the court had sought the Punjab government’s response.

The court last month had said that Saini will not be arrested until further orders.

Speaking on behalf of his client, Saini’s counsel Mukul Rohatgi said that the FIR was registered against Saini in a mala fide manner, adding that the state government is after Saini because he had filed two charge sheets which mentioned current Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh as an accused.

In May, Saini was booked at a police station in SAS Nagar (Mohali) along with six others in the case. In August, a murder charge was added after two of the accused policemen gave details of the crime.

Earlier, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had dismissed the retired police officer's anticipatory bail plea, following which he moved the Supreme Court.

The Case

In August 1991, when Saini was SSP Chandigarh, he faced a car bomb attack when he was on his way back home. Three people, including Saini's driver and an ASI, were killed while Saini was injured. One of the persons the Punjab Police accused of being behind the assassination attempt was Balwant Singh Multani, a junior engineer with the government in Chandigarh and the son of IAS officer Darshan Singh Multani.

The police later told the court that Balwant was arrested on 13 December and taken to Qadian Police Station in Gurdaspur district on 18 December, but he escaped a day later and was never seen since. Balwant's father filed a habeas corpus petition, asking that his son be produced but it was dismissed.

The high court in 2007 sought the CBI's help on the status of the proclaimed offenders, including Balwant.

That’s when Darshan Singh Multani filed another affidavit claiming that his son was killed in an encounter in 1991 itself. He even cited there were witnesses who could testify to this.

In 2008, the court allowed fresh FIRs to be filed and Balwant's brother Palwinder Singh Multani got an FIR lodged against Saini and others.

In May 2020, Saini and six other cops were booked by the Mohali police on charges of abduction, causing disappearance of evidence of offence and criminal conspiracy and an SIT was formed

In August 2020, two co-accused, former Inspector Jagir Singh and ASI Kuldeep Singh, turned approvers against Saini in the Multani case, claiming that they had witnessed the torture. This gave the SIT the chance to add the murder charge against Saini.

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