The Punjab and Haryana High court on Friday turned down the Punjab government’s request of not giving BJP leader Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga’s custody to the Delhi Police and keep him in Haryana. The court will now hear the matter on Saturday. The Punjab government had moved a habeas corpus petition in the High Court on Friday.
Bagga’s counsel Chetan Mittal raised a question about his arrest by the Punjab Police and also asked how the state government could file a habeas corpus against Haryana. In a high-voltage drama, a Delhi Police team took the custody of Bagga in Kurukshetra after Punjab cops arrested him from his home in the national capital on Friday.
The Punjab Police team was stopped in Kurukshetra’s Pipli, with a Haryana Police official saying they received information that Bagga was “forcibly” picked up from his residence. In the petition, the Punjab government accused the Haryana and the Delhi Police of illegally detaining its police officials at the Delhi’s Janakpuri police station and in Kurukshetra.
Additional Solicitor General of India Satya Pal Jain, who appeared on behalf of the Delhi Police, said the Punjab government made a request to the court that the custody of Bagga should not be handed over to the Delhi Police. It demanded that either Bagga be handed over to the state police or be detained where he was, said Jain.
“The court did not accept the request and also did not pass any interim order,” Jain told PTI. Jain also rejected the charge of the Punjab Police that their officials were detained by the Delhi Police.
“We told the court that we have not apprehended, arrested, or detained any police officer anywhere in Delhi,” said Jain. Jain said an FIR of Bagga’s kidnapping was lodged on the complaint of his father in Delhi after some “unknown” persons came to their house and misbehaved with the family members. After the FIR was lodged, the Delhi Police obtained a search warrant from the Dwarka district court, said Jain.
“The FIR lodged by the Delhi Police and search warrant issued by Dwarka district court, we have submitted both these to the High Court. We also submitted before the High Court that the Delhi Police has not arrested any Punjab Police official or detained anyone. Two or three Punjab police officials are in the Janakpuri police station and sitting on their own will,” Jain later told reporters outside the court. The information related to the search warrant was flashed by the Delhi Police in the region, after which the Haryana Police stopped a car at Pipli in Haryana in which Bagga was being taken by some people in plain clothes, said Jain. Thereafter, the search warrant was executed and the Delhi police took back Bagga to the national capital, said Jain.
“We told the court that if a police officer of any state goes in the jurisdiction of any other state to make an arrest they have to give intimation to them. But Punjab Police did not involve Delhi Police nor gave them any prior information. So, the Delhi Police had no information why he was arrested and by whom,” Jain said. Punjab Advocate General Anmol Rattan Sidhu said the state police followed a proper procedure for making the arrest while accusing the Delhi and Haryana Police of illegally detaining its officials.
“A proper FIR has been registered against Bagga. He has not filed any anticipatory bail. We gave him proper notice to join the investigation on five occasions but he disobeyed and did not come,” Sidhu said. “We sent the team to his house and a team also went to the Janakpuri police station. Deputy Superintendent of Police Kuljinder Singh was still sitting there along with his team for giving intimation since morning but the Delhi Police did not record it,” claimed Sidhu.
The Punjab AG said the police videographed all events, including Bagga’s arrest from his home. “None of our police personnel pushed any family member as is being alleged,” said Sidhu. “Everything is digitally recorded. We brought him in a proper way,” said Sidhu. “But when the Punjab police team was on its way back, the Haryana Police in connivance with Delhi Police stopped our police team. Three SPs and one IG along with the accused were taken to the Pipli police station,” he said.
“We had no other option, but to move habeas corpus in the High Court,” said Sidhu. After the Punjab police officials were detained, the Delhi police got Bagga released from our legal custody inside the Pipli police station, Sidhu alleged. On search warrants, Sidhu said they will tell the court that he was under our arrest.
Bagga’s counsel and senior advocate Chetan Mittal accused the Punjab Police of trying to project as if Bagga was a terrorist. Mittal said Punjab filed a habeas corpus against the State of Haryana because they knew Bagga was illegally picked. “We will show it is totally illegal custody. How can the State of Punjab file habeas corpus,” asked Mittal.
A counsel representing Haryana said, “We told the court that it was not illegal detention. VT (wireless) message was flashed by the Delhi Police in the morning regarding the abduction of Bagga. We told the court that on the basis of that, intimation was flashed in all districts of Haryana.”