In a significant development, the Kapurthala Judicial Magistrate (first class), Supreet Aur, granted bail to Punjab Congress MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira in a criminal intimidation case on Monday. The Congress MLA has been asked to furnish a bail bond of Rs 1 lakh. This decision comes in response to a case filed by Ranjit Kaur, under sections 195A and 506 of the Indian Penal Code, accusing Khaira of threatening to give false evidence and criminal intimidation.
Ranjit Kaur, the complainant, is the wife of Kashmir Singh, a key witness in a 2015 NDPS (Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances) case for which Sukhpal Khaira was previously arrested on January 4. Notably, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had granted him bail in connection with the 2015 NDPS case.
The 2015 NDPS case, registered in March of that year in Jalalabad, Fazilka, implicated Khaira as an additional accused. The case involved the arrest and conviction of nine individuals, including Gurdev Singh, reportedly a close aide of Khaira. The police seized two kilograms of heroin, 24 gold biscuits, a country-made pistol, a .315-bore pistol, and two Pakistani SIM cards from the accused.
Ranjit Kaur alleged that two masked individuals on a motorcycle threatened her family on October 15 of the previous year. The threat was reportedly linked to her husband’s status as a key witness in the 2015 drug case. She claimed to have received an anonymous call threatening harm to her family if Singh did not withdraw his statement against Khaira.
Sukhpal Khaira’s arrest in September 2023 in connection with the 2015 NDPS case had sparked accusations of political vendetta against the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in the state by the Congress. Khaira had been previously arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in 2021 on charges of money laundering related to the same case, for which he was granted bail in 2022. In February of the same year, the Supreme Court quashed the summons against Khaira in the 2015 NDPS case.
The legal proceedings surrounding Sukhpal Singh Khaira continue to unfold, with political undertones shaping the narrative surrounding the high-profile case.
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