It is finally happening after years of BJP-Akali romance ended over the disagreement with the now-defunct agriculture reform laws. Shiromani Akali Dal’s black sheep and brother of Harsimran Kaur Badal Bikram Singh Majithia is under the scanner of the Ministry of Home Affairs for his alleged links with a drug cartel. This is a nexus people of Punjab have been whispering and gossiping about for ages.
The MHA today issued a lookout circular against Majithia a day after an FIR was registered against him in an old drugs case.
Majithia, a former Punjab minister and senior SAD leader, has been booked under the NDPS Act, triggering allegations of “political vendetta” from his party.
A case against Majithia under various sections of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act was registered on the basis of a 2018 status report of probe into the drug racket in the state.
It was anti-drug special task force (STF) chief Harpreet Singh Sidhu who had filed the report in the Punjab and Haryana High Court in 2018. Majithia is the brother-in-law of SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal and brother of former Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal.
The Crime Branch of Punjab Police registered the 49-page FIR at its Mohali police station under various sections of the NDPS Act, which are Section 25 (punishment for allowing one’s premises for its use for the commission of an offence), Section 27 A (for financing sale, purchase, production, manufacture, possession, transportation, use or consumption, import and export or any act pertaining to narcotics) and Section 29 (for abetting or plotting an offence).
The FIR mentions that the authority took the legal opinion of Punjab’s advocate general before registering the case. ”On the basis of this status report of the STF along with the opinion of the advocate general, a cognizable offence is made out and therefore a case be registered and investigated,” the FIR reads.
The FIR stated that a special investigation team will probe the case for which separate orders will be issued. The STF’s report pending with the high court was based on confessional statements of some accused, including Jagjit Singh Chahal, Jagdish Singh Bhola and Maninder Singh Aulakh, of the 2013 multi-crore drug racket case, given to the Enforcement Directorate.
The ED questioned Majithia in December 2014 when he was a minister in the Akali government. ”As per the findings, prima facie there is sufficient evidence on record to further investigate the role of Shri Bikram Singh Majithia as regards the allegations made in the application under scrutiny,” said the FIR.
Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi said the state government was committed to taking legal action against drug traffickers and delivering justice to Punjabis.
Talking to reporters in Muktsar, SAD patron Parkash Singh Badal said, ”We already knew it.” He said the Congress government changed three state police chiefs to book and arrest Badals and Majithia.
Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu — who was rumoured to have been unable to go after the Badals due to the family’s proximity with the union government’s then No. 2 Arun Jaitley till the time the cricketer-turned-politician was in the BJP — welcomed the FIR against Majithia. He said in a series of tweets that it was possible due to his over five-year-long fight with the ”corrupt system” run by the Badal family and former Chief Minister of Punjab Captain Amarinder Singh and a “delay of four years” due to inaction on the ”ED & STF report against Majithia”.
A few days ago, the Channi government was embarrassed when the letter of Additional Director General of Police SK Asthana to the then state police chief Iqbal Preet Singh Sahota had surfaced on social media.
Asthana had cited some legal hurdles in conducting reinvestigation in drug cases against Majithia.