Jailed gangster Lawrence Bishnoi's father on Monday moved the Supreme Court challenging various orders, including the transit remand order of a Delhi court, in the murder case of singer Sidhu Moosewala and also complained that lawyers in Punjab have boycotted his son and are not willing to represent him. A vacation bench of Justices Surya Kant and JB Pardiwala was told by advocate Sangram Singh Saron that they have challenged the orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court and of a Delhi court granting transit remand but since no lawyer in Mansa court in Punjab is taking up Bishnoi's case, he had approached the top court.
The bench said this is “absolutely unjustified” and the petitioner can approach the high court to provide Bishnoi legal aid counsel. “These legal aid counsels cannot refuse the case or they would be delisted from the panel”, the bench said, asking the counsel to approach the Punjab and Haryana High Court to provide them legal aid counsel. Saron submitted that he is challenging the order of Delhi court for transit remand as it is contrary to certain directions passed by the top court on Bishnoi’s petition.
The bench said, “Since the Punjab Police is investigating the case, it is at a very nascent stage. It would not be appropriate for this court to interfere at this stage”. It noted the murder has taken place in Mansa, Punjab and therefore it is the jurisdiction of Punjab Police to investigate the case and they can very well take him (Bishnoi) on remand.The bench agreed to hear the plea of Bishnoi’s father on July 11. On June 14, a Delhi court here had granted Punjab Police the transit remand of Bishnoi to take him to Punjab in the Moosewala killing case.
The court had passed the order as Punjab Police produced Bishnoi before it after formally arresting him in the case. It had directed the state police to produce Bishnoi before the Chief Judicial Magistrate in Mansa court in connection with the case. The Punjab Police had said the killing of Moosewala seemed to be the result of an inter-gang rivalry and that the Bishnoi gang was involved in it. Moosewala was shot dead on May 29 by unidentified assailants in Punjab's Mansa district, a day after the state government curtailed his security cover. His cousin and a friend, who were travelling in a jeep with him, were also injured in the attack.
Bishnoi is facing trial for the offence committed under stringent MCOCA (Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act) here and was lodged in the Tihar jail. On June 2, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had dismissed a petition of Bishnoi who was seeking appropriate directions for not handing over his custody to the Punjab Police in the murder case. Bishnoi, who is suspected to be involved in Moosewala's killing, had moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court after withdrawing his plea from the Delhi High Court in which he said he feared he would be killed in a “fake encounter” by the Punjab Police, and sought necessary safeguards. In his petition before the high court, Bishnoi had sought directions that the judicial magistrate in Mansa be restrained from handing over his custody to the investigating agency in Punjab.
He had sought issuance of appropriate directions for questioning him through online/video conference facility or within the precincts of Tihar Jail, New Delhi. He had also submitted that there was a serious threat to his life and a possibility that upon being produced or while being brought from custody in connection with the FIR registered by the Mansa police, he can be “put to harm or liquidated by adopting extrajudicial means.”
(With PTI Inputs)