Apex Court tells Punjab government not to arrest Bikram Majithia till January 31 regarding drugs case

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The Top Court asked the Punjab government not to arrest Shiromani Akali Dal leader Bikram Singh Majithia in an alleged drugs case till Monday.

A bench headed by Chief Justice of India NV Ramana agreed to hear Majithia’s appeal against denial of anticipatory bail by the Punjab and Haryana high court, it said the state should wait till it hears the matter on coming Monday.

Senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi, representing Majithia, mentioned the matter for an urgent listing before the bench, which includes justices AS Bopanna and Hima Kohli.

Mukul Rohatgi mentioned Majithia's petition before the Chief Justice of India seeking urgent listing. "This is political vendetta. He is called to the police station. This is all due to the election fever", Rohatgi submitted.

“This is a case of political vendetta. They want him to be arrested during the election fever,” Rohatgi, assisted by a team of counsel from law firm Karanjawala & Co., complained.

The dismissal of Majithia’s bail plea came a day before the filing of nomination papers was to commence in Punjab. Majithia plans to contest from Majitha constituency in Amritsar district.

"I don't know if this is election fever or election virus. Everyone is rushing to the court now," the CJI said.

Senior advocate P Chidambaram, who appeared for the Punjab government, alleged Majithia has been in hiding since he was refused the relief by the high court.

"Is this fair, Mr. Chidambaram?" the CJI asked.

"The order was passed on 24th January....Thereafter he went into hiding."

"Tell your state not to do anything. We will hear on Monday," the top court said.

The state government opposed the continuation of this relief before the high court contending Majithia had not extended full cooperation during the probe.

Majithia claimed that the case was registered against him in view of the elections. He added the sole intention of registering it was to take him into custody and torture him.

Majithia apprehended his arrest in connection with a case under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act registered at Mohali on December 20 last year