NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday quashed cheating and forgery case against late former Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and his son Sukhbir over two constitutions of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD).
A Bench of Justices M R Shah and C T Ravikumar said the complaint against them amounts to abuse of the process of law. It said it has not commented on the SAD constitution and so the pending proceedings before the Election Commission should not be influenced by its verdict.
Set aside Punjab and Haryana HC order
It set aside an order of the Punjab and Haryana High Court that had rejected the plea by the Badals against the petition of Balwant Khera and others.
The apex court noted that the Badals had been summoned to face the trial but none of the ingredients of the offences were made out against them.
The Court determined that the High Court ought to have quashed proceedings that would have been an abuse of the process of law. Hence, it quashed and set it aside. It also clarified that it had not expressed anything on the Constitution of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and hence the pending proceedings before the Election Commission of India (ECI) should not be influenced by the top court's verdict.
"The HC ought to have quashed proceedings that would have been an abuse of process. We quash and set the impugned order including trial court summons. Present appeals are allowed. We have not expressed anything on Constitution of party, and should not influence pending proceedings in Delhi before ECI," the Court stated.
Balwant Singh Khera filed case
The case against them was filed by one Balwant Singh Khera accusing the SAD of submitting separate constitutions with the Gurdwara Election Commission and the ECI.
The Supreme Court had in November stayed proceedings in the matter before a Punjab court, and issued notice.
Khera, a resident of Hoshiarpur, had filed a criminal complaint before an Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate in 2009.
It was alleged that on one hand, the party claimed to be a secular party and gave a declaration to abide by the principles of secularism in its constitution filed before ECI.
However, on the other hand, it was contesting elections for a religious body, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) , thereby giving it the colour of a religious party.
The Badals and another accused, Daljit Singh Cheema, had moved the present plea before the top court challenging the proceedings before the Magistrate.
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