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Corruption case: SC notice to Punjab CM, kin
April 11, 2008 13:59 IST
A bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Mr justice R V Raveendran, however, refused to stay the trial.
Senior counsel Andhiarjuna -- appearing for the petitioner (former Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh) -- contended before the court that since Badal became the chief minister of the state most prosecution witnesses, who were mostly government officials, have turned hostile, and that free and fair trial was not possible in an intimidating atmosphere in the court at Mohali and Ropar.
Senior counsel K K Venugopal, appearing for Badal, however, contended that the petition was politically-motivated and that the petitioner had no locus standi to file it.
Senior counsel Arun Jaitely, appearing for another accused, told the court that Badal became the chief minister on February 28, 2007, and the senior public prosecutor was appointed by Amarinder Singh government and, therefore, the allegation that the Akali Dal government in the state was responsible for appointing the new team of state counsels was incorrect.
The next date of hearing of the corruption case is May 3, 2008 and, therefore, the Supreme Court has decided to hear the transfer petition on May 2, a day before the date in the trial court.
Badal and his family members are facing trial under the Prevention of Corruption Act for acquiring assets disproportionate to their known sources of income by misusing their official status.
They are facing allegations of amassing assets running into several thousand crores of rupees through corrupt means. The police complaint was registered against Badal and his family members in 2003.
The apex court directed the three main accused to file their responses within two weeks.