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High Court reserves verdict on Khaira’s plea 

Chandigarh: Over a week after Fazilka Additional Sessions Judge summoned Leader of Opposition in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha Sukhpal Singh Khaira to face trial as an additional accused in a drugs case, the Punjab and Haryana High Court today reserved its verdict.

Justice AB Chaudhari reserved the verdict after hearing lengthy arguments. Appearing on Khaira’s behalf, senior advocate Randeep Singh Rai had earlier dubbed the matter as a “classic instance of political vendetta”.

It was alleged that every attempt was being made to rope Khaira in as an accused with the solitary purpose to tarnish his reputation and public perception. Khaira was summoned as an additional accused in case FIR dated March 5, 2015, registered at the Sadar police station, Jalalabad.

Describing himself as a two-time MLA and a “fearless politician and crusader against various evils often indulged into by the ruling party of the state”, Khaira had claimed raising his voice against the drug mafia, mining mafia, corruption and other ailments affecting Punjab for the last decade.

He asserted that he was currently the Leader of Opposition in Punjab on account of his clean and bold image. Seeking the setting aside of the impugned order, dated October 31, he added that it was passed by the court after the trial and passing of the judgment of conviction and sentence against the accused facing trial.

He added that the fact was also reflected from the impugned order, wherein it was specifically noticed by the trial court that, vide its separate judgment, all the accused against whom the challan was presented, except one, had been convicted.

From the bare perusal of the impugned order, it was apparent that the order of summoning the petitioner and others as additional accused was passed after the trial regarding the main accused had culminated by virtue of judgment of conviction. Khaira added there was no substantive evidence available with the court to summon the petitioner as an accused.

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