Supreme Court Relief For Sukhbir Badal, Bench Questions Punjab's Appeal

The Supreme Court bench wondered why the state government appealed the High Court order against Sukhbir Badal instead of the complainant.

Supreme Court Relief For Sukhbir Badal, Bench Questions Punjab's Appeal

The Supreme Court observed it was a "fake case" against Sukhbir Badal (File)

New Delhi:

The Supreme Court today dismissed an appeal filed by the Punjab government challenging a Punjab and Haryana High Court order quashing an FIR against Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) chief Sukhbir Singh Badal in 2021, observing it was a "fake case".

The FIR against Mr Badal was filed under the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 for disobedience to an order by a public servant, causing obstruction, criminal intimidation and unlawful activities over allegations that he obstructed the mining operations of a private company in Amritsar district's Beas town.

A bench of Justices Abhay S Oka and Ujjal Bhuyan wondered why the complainant in the case did not approach the Supreme Court but the state government appealed the High Court order quashing the FIR.

Observing it was "undoubtedly a fake case", the bench told the Punjab government counsel, "Just because a person, who is a political leader, went there to inspect the spot or something else, he was booked. None of the elements of the offences alleged are made out."

When the counsel contended that the High Court wrongly quashed the FIR, the bench said the High Court went through the document and found none of the offences were made out.

"Interestingly, the complainant is a mining company and it has not appealed against the High Court order. Only the state government has challenged it. Why?" Justice Oka said.

"No case for interference with the High Court order is made out. The Special Leave Petition is dismissed," the top court said.

On August 4, 2023, the Punjab and Haryana High Court quashed the FIR against Sukhbir Badal, former Deputy Chief Minister of Punjab, on July 1, 2021, at Beas police station.

The prosecution claimed Mr Badal threatened the employees of the mining company and obstructed its legal operations at the desilting site in the riverfront town. COVID-19 restrictions were in place at that time, it said.

The High Court, while quashing the FIR, said the offences Mr Badal has been accused of didn't make a case to prosecute him.

It noted Mr Badal's claim that he had visited the spot to check the ground situation about the allegations of illegal mining in an environmentally susceptible riverbed area.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)