Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday trashed as baseless and politically motivated the unwarranted allegations against Advocate General Atul Nanda, as well as the legal team that defended the Kotkapura firing incident probe.
Strongly countering the totally unjustified criticism of the AG, as well as other lawyers hired by the state government to fight the case, the Chief Minister slammed opposition parties and their leaders who were deliberately trying to provoke public sentiment on the sensitive issue to create trouble ahead of the 2022 Assembly elections.
Terming it a brazen game-plan of vested interests trying to mislead the people of the state with their deliberately misleading statements on different aspects of the sacrilege litigation, the Chief Minister said these vested political interests were mixing up the same as a clear ploy to confuse the people.
Contrary to what these vested interests, including leaders of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) were projecting, the fact was that the cases relating to the sacrilege of the Sri Guru Granth Sahab, were being handled separately in the courts from the Kotkapura and Behbal Kalan police firing cases, said the Chief Minister. The AG and his team had been tasked with defending the state only in the sacrilege matters, which were an emotive and sensitive issue for the people of Punjab, he said, pointing out that the case had been decisively won by the State in a detailed judgment rendered by a Single Judge of the High Court on 25 January 2019, thus upholding the findings of the Justice Ranjit Singh Commission of Inquiry, appointed by his government to examine the case.
Further, pointed out the Chief Minister, the single judge’s verdict was upheld, right up to the level of the Supreme Court, which helped the state recall the investigation into the cases of sacrilege of the Sri Guru Granth Sahab from the CBI. It was to the credit of the AG and his team, which fought the case hard and effectively in the courts, that the CBI, which had made no progress in the matter for nearly four years, was forced to hand over all the case papers to the Punjab Police SIT on 5th February 2021, he added.
Pointing out that a separate SIT, headed not by Kunwar Vijay Pratap but by IG Parmar, is now probing the sacrilege cases, the Chief Minister said this, in itself, falsifies all allegations of any collusion between the ruling Government and the accused of this heinous crime. The case will be taken to its logical conclusion, and those guilty of sacrilege of the holy Sri Guru Granth Sahab will be punished, as a result of the concerted efforts of the AG and his team, he added.
As for the Kotkapura and Behbal Kalan firing cases, the AG was not even involved in the defence, which was being undertaken by a specialized legal team from the Supreme Court headed by leading criminal lawyers Siddharth Luthra, Senior Advocate, Harin Raval Senior Advocate and other lawyers from Delhi, the Chief Minister further said. The team of Delhi lawyers had also been working relentlessly to defend the state in the matter of the police firing cases’ probe, he said, asserting that he also had full faith in the SIT headed by Kunwar Vijay Pratap to investigate the firing cases.
The entire agenda of those resorting to brazen lies and fabrications to denigrate the AG and his team, as well as the legal team from Delhi, was to scuttle the state government’s efforts to bring the guilty to justice in both, the sacrilege and the firing cases, said the Chief Minister. He made it clear that these efforts would not succeed and the innocent will get justice, as his government was committed to fulfilling every single poll promise made to the people of Punjab.