NEW DELHI: The Punjab government was ordered by the Supreme Court on Thursday not to detain Shiromani Akali Dal leader Bikram Singh Majithia in an alleged narcotics case until Monday. While a panel led by Chief Justice of India NV Ramana agreed to hear Majithia’s appeal against the Punjab and Haryana high court’s rejection of anticipatory relief, it advised the state to wait till Monday’s hearing.
Majithia’s senior attorney, Mukul Rohatgi, has requested an immediate hearing before the bench, which includes justices AS Bopanna and Hima Kohli. ‘This is a case of political vendetta. They want him to be arrested during the election fever,’ Rohatgi said, backed up by a team of lawyers from Karanjawala & Co.
‘What election fever, Mr Rohatgi? This is election virus. Everyone is rushing to courts now,’ the bench answered. Rohatgi sought an injunction to prevent his client from being arrested until the next hearing date. Majithia’s petition for anticipatory bail was denied on January 24, and he was only granted protection for three days, he said. While seeking protection, he mentioned that it was about to expire on Thursday.