Parkash Badal gets clean chit from SC in SAD’s dual constitution controversy case

SC quashed the criminal proceedings pending against Parkash Singh Badal in forgery case over the political party’s dual constitutions

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday quashed cheating and forgery proceedings in connection with the controversy over the dual constitution of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) against the party’s late patriarch Parkash Singh Badal and his son Sukhbir Singh Badal.

Parkash Singh Badal, also a five-time former Chief Minister of Punjab, died at a private hospital in Mohali on Tuesday. He was 95.

On April 11, the Supreme Court had reserved the judgment on a plea filed by the Badals and Daljit Singh Cheema, challenging the proceedings pending before Punjab’s Hoshiarpur court in the alleged case of forgery and cheating filed against them, in the controversy over dual constitution of the SAD.

Pronouncing the judgment, the Justice M.R. Shah-led bench said: “No ingredients made out, criminal proceedings quashed, clear case of abuse of law, We set aside summoning order”.

The petitions were filed by Badals and Cheema, in connection with a complaint filed by a Hoshiarpur resident Balwant Singh Khera.

In 2009, Khera had filed a criminal complaint before the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate.

The complaint accused SAD of submitting two different constitutions, i.e., one with the Gurdwara Election Commission (GEC) and the second with the Election Commission of India (ECI) to seek recognition as a political party.

Senior advocates K.V. Viswanathan and R.S. Cheema appeared for the Badals, and advocate Sandeep Kapur for Cheema.

The petitions were filed by Karanjawala & Co. and the brief was led by Nandini Gore and Sandeep Kapur and others. Advocate Prashant Bhushan appeared for Balwant Singh Khera.

During the hearing, the top court asked the counsel for the original complainant how the offences mentioned in the private complaint were made out in the instant case.

The top court orally observed that prima facie offences of forgery, cheating, falsifications of documents etc., were not made out.

It had also observed that whether SAD was a secular party or not was an issue that could not be gone into in the present proceedings and can only be decided by appropriate authorities like the ECI in a challenge before it.

The criminal complaint was premised on the allegation that the party has claimed to be a secular party and given a declaration to abide by the principles of secularism in its constitution filed before ECI while it contests elections for a religious body, Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee, thereby being a religious party.

Also Read: Sardar Parkash Singh Badal Cremated With Full State Honours In Punjab
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