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Notice on contempt plea to Punjab HS


CHANDIGARH, March 8: On a petition filed by the widow of Babbar Khalsa chief Bhai Sukhdev Singh Babbar for initiating contempt of court proceedings, Justice V.S. Aggarwal of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today issued notice for May 14 to the Punjab Home Secretary, besides the Patiala Inspector General of Police (Indian Reserve Batallion) and the Senior Superintendent of Police.

Seeking "suitable punishment" for the respondents, Jawahar Kaur, in her petition, stated that the September 1997 orders of the High Court -- directing the State of Punjab to hand over a house to the petitioner within one month after vacating it -- had been "wilfully disobeyed".

Claiming the dismissal of the SLP, filed against the judgment, by the Supreme Court in August 1998, her counsel stated that the respondents were duty bound to obey the High Court orders. "Till today, the IGP is in illegal occupation of the house of the petitioner," her counsel stated.

Referring to Jawahar Kaur's earlier petition, the counsel said the police was in illegal possession of house number 20 in Phase I, Urban Estate, Patiala. The possession, he added, was taken in 1992 after the "petitioner's husband was allegedly killed in an encounter with the police".

Bhajan denies FIR registration
Deposing before the Punjab and Haryana High Court in a petition challenging his election to the Haryana Vidhan Sabha in April 1996, former Haryana chief minster Bhajan Lal today said he did not recall the registration of a First Information Report against him at Police Station Adampur.

During his cross-examination, he also stated that although he did not exactly remember, there was a possibility of "some case" being registered during the election of the local panchayat "as there was some scuffle there." The former CM deposed that he might have applied for bail. It was possible, he added, that his statement under Section 313 of the CrPC "might have been recorded before the competent court of jurisdiction".

Earlier during the proceedings, Bhajan Lal, in his examination-in-chief, stated that he had contested elections from the Adampur constituency and had visited parts of the state as he was the chief minister then.

He added that on April 27, 1996, he was informed regarding the firing of two rounds in Adampur village by his opponent. A person was admitted to the hospital after being hit by a bullet, he added.

He also said that as far as he remembered, repolling was ordered in two booths in Adampur-Mandi and Adampur village and all the booths of Khara Barwala. "I was not able to understand at that point of time, nor it is clear to me even now as to why repolling was directed in these booths. There was no adverse report either from the returning officer or the observers, who were nominated from three different states," he stated.

Earlier, in his petition, Gurmesh Bishnoi of Adampur tehsil in Hisar district had sought the setting aside of Bhajan Lal's elections to the Adampur constituency. He had also sought his disqualification from contesting any elections for six years in accordance with law.

Fresh notice to Cong candidate
The Punjab and Haryana High Court today issued fresh notice for April 5 to Congress candidate Kanwaljit Singh, elected to the Adampur assembly constituency by a six vote margin, on a petition filed by Shiromani Akali Dal candidate Dalvir Singh of District Jalandhar.

The notice was issued by Justice T.H.B. Chalapathi on the petition seeking directions to set aside the election, besides declaring it null and void. The petitioner had also asked for a recount of the ballot papers and directions for summoning the record pertaining to the elections. Claiming a difference of seven votes between the total number taken out from the ballot boxes and the number of ballot papers counted for declaring the result, the petitioner had stated that irregularity was committed in favour of the returned candidate.

Elaborating upon the contention, the counsel for the petitioner had stated that 82,937 votes were entered in form number 20 when the boxes were opened, but 82,930 were actually counted for declaring the result.

He had further alleged that during round number six, 1000 votes were sent to table number 1 for counting, but six votes polled in the petitioner's favour were misplaced and not counted in order to defeat him.

It was also stated that kanwaljit Singh polled 35,285 votes while 35,279 votes were cast in the petitioner's favour. Another 651 votes were declared invalid.

Copyright © 1999 Indian Express Newspapers (Bombay) Ltd.

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